Hela turns to Shoosmiths for their strategic international acquisition

Law firm Shoosmiths has advised Hela Brands Limited, a subsidiary of Sri Lanka-listed Hela Apparel Holdings PLC, in its recent acquisition of Focus Brands from JD Sports Fashion PLC. 

Focus Brands is a leader in the sports fashion distribution sector with showrooms in London, Manchester, Berlin, Munich, Düsseldorf and Amsterdam, a sourcing office in China and a network of warehouse facilities across the UK and Europe. The acquisition encompasses the distribution rights for prominent brands such as Ellesse, Nautica, Yogi, Peter Werth, Patrick, Farah Footwear and Avirex.

Partner, Richard Millington and legal director, Rebecca Holden, led the Shoosmiths team with support from data protection partner Nick Holland, pensions and employment partner Paul Carney, real estate partner Ruth Clare and associates from our corporate, IP, commercial, tax and banking divisions. 

Ray Evans newly appointed CEO of Focus Brands commented: “This acquisition is an exciting opportunity that will see the teams at Hela and Focus Brands coming together in collaboration, to create an exciting future for the business. 

“Focus has already built up an excellent reputation for itself across the global sports and streetwear industries and, alongside the team at Hela, we intend to build on that established success and amplify what the licensing house has already created that aligns with our strategic objectives and contributes to the overall growth and resilience of the brands involved. Shoosmiths advice has been instrumental in facilitating this transaction and we very much enjoyed working with the team”.

Richard Millington said: "We’re very pleased to have worked closely with Hela on this significant acquisition. It is another example of our strength on complex international transactions coupled with our deep fashion and retail sector insight."

Shoosmiths corporate team has significant experience within the fashion and retail sector, recently advising AK Retail on its acquisition of plus-size clothing brand Evans and advising on the sale of Apparel Brands Limited, a fashion retailer of brands such as Bench and Nicce, to a business backed by private equity house True Capital. Last year also saw the firm support Reliance Brands on their joint venture (JV) with Superdry in which Reliance became 76% owners of a JV partnership vehicle. The  JV vehicle then acquired the IP of Superdry for South East Asia – the deal also including work from the firm’s rapidly expanding equity and capital markets team. 


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



Read the latest articles and commentary from Shoosmiths or you can explore our full insights library.