Castore valued at almost £1bn following £150m funding deal

Castore founders Tom, left, and Phil Beahon

Castore, the fast-growing Manchester-based sportswear brand, has raised £150m from backers, including US-based merchant bank Raine Group.

New York and Tel Aviv-headquartered Hanaco Ventures and venture capital firm Felix Capital are believed among the investors

This will take the company’s valuation close to the £1bn mark, at around £950m.

One of the company’s investors said the new capital would be earmarked to extend its supply chain, marketing presence and global reach, said Sky News.

Earlier this year it was reported that Rothschild, the investment bank, had been appointed to orchestrate the capital raise.

Writing on the LinkedIn social media platform, co-founder Thomas Beahon said: “Today Castore announces the successful completion of a c£150m capital raise, one of the largest growth capital investments in the world in 2023.

Castore sportswear

“We are immensely proud to achieve this milestone which represents a huge endorsement of our business model and strategy and this would not have been possible without the passion, commitment and hard work of all our amazing staff who we massively appreciate.

“We are delighted to welcome The Raine Group, Felix Capital and Hanaco Ventures on board as partners, all of whom we have no doubt will add significantly value as we take Castore through the next stage of growth and become a truly global brand.

“Castore is a true entrepreneurs story – when my brother and I co-founded the business in 2016, nobody thought we had any chance of being successful – banks, investors, advisors and everyone else we spoke to rejected our idea as crazy.

“Eventually our mum and dad told us they believed in us and would re-mortgage their home to give us the money to get Castore off the ground – an amazing gesture and show of faith only a parent can have.

“Equally, knowing if you fail you won’t just be failing for yourself, you will have a significant impact on your parent’s lives, puts a level of fear and anxiety in your stomach that few people will understand. We didn’t just want Castore to be successful, we needed it to be.”

He added: “There is a business side to our story – seeing a gap in the global sports market and using technology and data to create a superior model to the existing brands who had dominated the sector for a generation; but the bigger aspect is the personal side – a story of passion, work ethic, big dreams and most importantly – never, ever giving up.

“People rarely talk about the difficult times but they are far more important than the good moments and how we respond to adversity is how we all become who we are.

“Our vision when we founded Castore was to create a proudly British brand competing on the global stage and we won’t stop until we get there.”

Tennis great, Sir Andy Murray, is one of the firm’s backers, as are the Blackburn-based billionaire Issa brothers, who jointly own Asda and the petrol forecourts giant EG Group.

At the start of this month Castore announced it would be opening more stores and expanding its Manchester headquarters.

The retailer, which recently released impressive annual financial results, said it will expand its stores’ portfolio in the UK, Ireland, and the Middle East.

Wolves player Adama Traore in training kit

Castore provides kits for a range of sporting sectors, including football, cricket, tennis and F1. Among its football clients are Newcastle United, Glasgow Rangers, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In the past 12 months alone, the brand has opened more than 25 retail sites and e-commerce websites. This expansion has also seen the addition of more than 250 staff.

In accounts filed at Companies House for the year to January 31, 2023, the brand revealed it had hit £115m in turnover, up from £48.833m the previous year. Pre-tax profits of £14.674m compared with £8.059m in 2022.

The UK was the biggest market for the business, with £79.846m-worth of sales, followed by Europe (£25.364m), rest of the world (£6.680m) and North America (£3.126m).

Castore’s two founders, and directors, Liverpudlian brothers Tom and Phil Beahon, enjoyed a bumper pay rise with their combined pay jumping from £274,167 in 2022 to £599,994 in the reporting period.

A team from Addleshaw Goddard, including Andrew Green, David Auty and Millie Johnson, advised Castore on the transaction.

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