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Chemicals giant INEOS has bought Belstaff, the British heritage fashion brand, in the latest off-centre move by its founder and chairman, billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, a month after he unveiled plans to start making cars. Belstaff is well-known for its leather and waxed jackets.
On announcing its purchase of Belstaff on October 30, INEOS cited its "links to automotive". The label, which was established in 1924, is best known for its waxed motorcycle jackets, as worn by Steve McQueen in The Great Escape, but also made aviator jackets, famously for female aviation pioneers Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson. Ineos acquired Belstaff from JAB Luxury GmbH which also owns the Bally brand as well as a diverse portfolio of food and drink, as well as health, hygiene and household products brands.
JAB Holdings, sold its majority stake in luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo earlier this year to JAG Acquisitions (UK), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Michael Kors Holdings.
JAB Luxury issued the following: “JAB is very pleased to be handing Belstaff’s reins to INEOS, a great, growing company with the passion, desire and vision to further the company’s success,” said Peter Harf, Senior Partner. “Having invested in Belstaff and watched its brand grow over the last five years, we are confident that INEOS is the best possible steward for the company, and we trust the company’s next chapter will see both growth and well-deserved recognition for its iconic brand and talented team.”
The acquisition and transfer of ownership is targeted to complete within the fourth quarter of this year, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals.
Belstaff employs 200 people worldwide and trades through several standalone stores, department store concessions and online Ineos said that it would it bring Belstaff back to British ownership.