When you’ve established a brand, you don’t want it to disappear

After establishing his business over 46 years, one seller was not prepared to just close the doors to his specialist menswear boutique when he retired. He worked with Michael Ziff, from Transworld Business Advisors of London, to find the perfect buyer and a deal he wanted.


When you’ve built-up a world-class name, synonymous with meticulous tailoring and distinguished products, knowing how to exit your business without disappointing loyal customers, can present a challenge. This was a challenge the owner of one such business recently faced.


The seller had invested almost half a century’s passion to provide exclusive menswear products in Central London. He was not prepared to turn his back on his business or his clients, as he knew he had built something special; something which would provide a profitable future for the right buyer. The seller was widely recognised for sourcing superior fabrics from around the world, with an A-list client base, not only because of the business location but because of the service he provided to clients.


Having spoken with a family friend, the seller knew working with Michael Ziff of Transworld Business Advisors of London would be the right solution for his well-established brand. Michael, with his son Henry, support local small and medium business owners who are looking to exit their business, by finding the right buyer to broker the right deal for their clients.


Although, the seller very much had his eye on who he wanted to be the next owner of his business: A young entrepreneur who shared a similar passion for providing men with exquisitely tailored menswear – whether clients were purchasing “off-the-shelf” or a bespoke design. “I knew the buyer from earlier in his career,” says the seller. “Having seen him develop his own brand, not too dissimilar to my own journey, I knew he was right for the future of my business. I mentioned him to Michael, and we created a plan for him to present to the buyer; one which we hoped he couldn’t turn down.”


Michael, as the broker for this deal, supported his client to achieve this goal with the right terms for his client, “The seller didn’t want to close down his business, and why should he after nearly 50 years. So, this proved to be an interesting deal from my perspective, having worked with many business owners, previously. On this occasion, I needed to come at the process with as much originality as my clients offer to their customers, if I was to successfully deliver it.


“The buyer has his own equally reputable business, and wanted to be sure the two brands would complement each other. When he was satisfied it would be a good acquisition for his equally popular menswear brand, buyer and seller agreed a deal,” Michael explains.


Both parties appreciated the expertise of Michael, and feel the benefited from having him keep the deal on track, “Michael was very attentive,” says the seller. “He talks the same language as I do, and I would happily introduce him to anyone I know of who is looking to sell their own business.” The buyer agrees, “Michael was persistent. Once the pandemic kicked in, we had to navigate the deal and Michael remained very fair. He did what he could to arrange the best possible deal, and pull it all together, to get the deal over the line in the middle of the pandemic.”


One thing the seller is hoping to do, once the pandemic eases, is to become more active in the national charity, Versus Arthritis, which he’s supported for years. “My late wife and I have been involved with Versus Arthritis for almost 30 years; she suffered terribly with it. People don’t know enough about how debilitating arthritis is, especially when you realise around 50% of the population in this country suffer from it at some point. I would normally arrange a fundraising project in honour of my wife, every 18 months. I am keen to start work on our next major fundraiser event as soon as it is safe to do so, because – like most charities – the impact of the pandemic has hit us quite hard.