Fashion giant in takeover of family business

BIGHT FUTURE: Nicky Santomauro with staff at Lavenham Leisure in Sudbury, which has been taken over.

BIGHT FUTURE: Nicky Santomauro with staff at Lavenham Leisure in Sudbury, which has been taken over.

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Major fashion firm Fred Perry has completed the takeover of Sudbury company Lavenham Leisure.

It was announced on Friday that Fred Perry Holdings had bought all the shares in the family business for an undisclosed fee.

Lavenham Leisure, which has a factory in Church Field Road, was set up in 1969 and specialises in quilted jackets.

Managing director Nicky Santomauro said she was optimistic the move would signal a bright future for the firm.

“We were approached by Fred Perry earlier in the year,” she said. “This is very much good news.

“It sees us as a company with a lot of potential, plus we are an English manufacturer.”

Ms Santomauro, who has worked at the company for 18 years, said all of the current 112 employees would be keeping their positions, and it was hoped the takeover would allow for greater expansion.

“It is onwards and upwards and we will hopefully be looking to expand and create more local jobs,” she said.

Fred Perry is owned by Hit Union – a Japanese company. Japan is one of Lavenham Leisure’s biggest markets.

John Flynn, chief executive at Fred Perry, said he hoped to further develop the brand’s presence in international markets.