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Great American Sells U.K. Shoe Retailer

Great American Group has sold its ownership interest in the U.K. footwear retail chain Shoon to two entrepreneurs, the company announced Monday. The Woodland Hills company, which liquidates assets after bankruptcies, began working with Shoon when the chain went into “administration,” the British equivalent of bankruptcy, in February 2012. Shoon operates 10 stores that sell women’s shoes, men’s shoes, handbags and fashion accessories. GA Europe, a subsidiary of Great American, funded a management buy-out of Shoon in May 2012. The company provided working capital and took an equity stake in Shoon, which has since restructured by closing stores, changing its product mix and developing several concession stands to sell the footwear. The acquirers were Ken Bartle, former chief executive of U.K. shoe chain Jones Bootmaker, and Peter Phillips, chairman at Jones Bootmaker. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. “We’ve enabled management to re-platform the business and complete the heavy restructuring necessary in the two years post-administration,” said GA Europe Chief Executive Gavin George. “Our investment in, and subsequent exit from Shoon, effectively demonstrates our strategy of backing retail businesses where we can successfully apply our capital and specialist restructuring skills.” Shares of Great American closed Monday up 2 cents or nearly 8 percent at 28 cents on the over-the-counter market.

Joel Russel
Joel Russel
Joel Russell joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2006 as a reporter. He transferred to sister publication San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2012 as managing editor. Since he assumed the position of editor in 2015, the Business Journal has been recognized four times as the best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. Previously, he worked as senior editor at Hispanic Business magazine and editor of Business Mexico.

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