Bagir, an Israeli suit maker, sold £20.0 million ($33.4 million) of shares on Tuesday in its first day of trading on London’s AIM (Alternative Investment Market). Based on the sale, Bagir Group, as it is listed on AIM, was valued at £28.1 million ($47.0 million), the company said in a statement.
Bagir was established in 1961 as a formal wear company to supply a growing population of business executives who needed more formal attire. At the time, it was the only such store in a country where jackets and ties were rarely seen, even on the country’s leaders. At the same time, the company started a small operation in the UK.
Bagir has over 1,000 employees, with most design work done in Israel and manufacturing facilities in China, Burma, Vietnam, Egypt, Romania and Jordan, among others. The company is one of the largest formal wear makers in the British market. 12.5 percent of British men wear a Bagir-manufactured suit, marketed under brand names such as Brooks Brothers, Jay Godfrey, John Lewis, House of Fraser and Burton. Bagir-made suits account for 40% of the formal wear sold at UK chains Arcadia and Marks and Spencer, UK fashion industry sources said. Bagir’s sales in 2013 totaled $100 million, up from $85 million in 2012, according to industry estimates.
Bagir recently began selling its suits in Australia, and the company plans to expand production with a new manufacturing facility in Ethiopia, using a portion of the money raised in the AIM initial public offering (IPO). The funds will also be used to pay off outstanding loans and to upgrade equipment in the group’s information technology and research and development departments.
“We are pleased to have joined AIM and this marks an important milestone in the Group’s 52-year history,” said Danny Taragan, Bagir’s CEO. “We have received solid support from investors and have raised £20 million [$33,588,000] in a placing that will be used to pay down existing debt and provide working capital to support the group’s future growth. We would like to welcome our new shareholders to the register and look forward to updating them on our progress.”