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Connection Capital backs stock re-seller Rowan International

11 December 2017

Connection Capital has invested £5m (€5.7m) in Rowan International, a branded stock re-seller.

Rowan is one of Europe’s largest residual stock distributors. It buys and sells brands on the discount market, working with clients including Johnson & Johnson, Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

Rowan’s service enables brands to recoup the cost of unsold goods, shift stock and avoid in-store discounting. The company generates turnover of around £50m.

Connection and Lloyds Bank have supported the company’s management buyout, which has been led by chief executive John Place. The deal will enable Rowan to increase supplier relationships and focus on higher margin goods.

Connection has also introduced John Cleland, who has held roles at Asda, Sainsbury’s and Somerfield, as well as chief executive positions at several private equity-backed businesses. Cleland has invested in the deal and will join Rowan as non-executive chairman.

“The secret sauce in Rowan International is its ability to sell residual stock outside the country it was sourced in thereby protecting the market for the brand owner – their capabilities in this area are very strong which is what differentiates it,” Connection Capital investment director Pascal Wittet said.

 A version of this article appeared in Real Deals on 11 December 2017.