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A DEAL FOR NICOLE FARHI: Nicole Farhi has a new owner. Kelso Place Asset Management LLP, a London-based special situations fund, last week acquired a majority stake in the designer brand. Kelso Place acquired the stake from OpenGate Capital, the Los Angeles-based private equity firm, which had acquired Nicole Farhi for 5 million pounds, or $7.7 million at current exchange, from French Connection Group Plc in early 2010. Financial terms of the latest deal were not disclosed. Farhi will continue in her role as creative director, while Niki Scordi will continue as chief executive officer of the label. The firm stated that it aims to provide “financial, strategic and hands on operational support to the management team, in order to ensure the future growth of the business.” Kelso Place also holds a stake in the luxury accessories label Anya Hindmarch, and is a former owner of the luxury leather goods and stationery brand Smythson, which it sold in 2009 after acquiring the company in 2005.
OpenGate will also retain a minority stake in the Nicole Farhi business.