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Acquisition Opportunity

Hilco Streambank is seeking offers to acquire the intellectual property assets of Watt Brothers (Glasgow and Edinburgh) Limited (in Administration) (“Watt Brothers” or the “Company”) on behalf of Alistair McAlinden and Blair Carnegie Nimmo of KPMG UK LLP, acting as the Joint Administrators of the Company.

OFFER DEADLINE

Friday 29 November 2019 at 4pm GMT

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Background

Watt Brothers, a fourth-generation family-owned business, possessed a long and rich history dating back to the late 1800s when founder, Allan Watt, began selling lace and ribbons from a shop on Elmbank Street in Glasgow. Over the course of a century, the Company expanded and established itself at the forefront of the Scottish high street. Watt Brothers operated from a chain of 11 department stores across central Scotland at the time of its Administration, offering a varied range of products from fashion, electrical, homeware, jewellery, gifts and beauty products. It’s flagship store in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street was opened in 1915, during World War One, when Watt Brothers first officially formed as a Limited company. In the years since the Company became an iconic feature of the Glasgow high street, winning the business of many Scottish consumers and tourists.

Press Coverage

News of the Company’s Administration has been met with nostalgia by the national press and the wider community. Major media outlets have covered the Administration in recent weeks, including the BBC and Evening Times, with past customers expressing sadness at the Company’s closure and loss of the brand on the high street. This sale presents an opportunity for a buyer to acquire a popular, well-established brand with a long and rich history and benefit from the goodwill of the brand’s revival, which could receive considerable press coverage post-sale. The Company is currently trading from Administration in its flagship store in Glasgow, and therefore the brand has not yet left the high street or minds of consumers. This is a unique advantage to the sales process and would result in a buyer being able to maintain the goodwill in the brand.

Financials

The Company had forecast annual sales for 2020 of circa £37.7m prior to its insolvency. The Company’s historic accounts show an overall growth in revenue of circa £2.6m from the years 2014 to 2017, with circa £21.2m in sales recorded for the 2017 financial year.

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Available Assets

Goodwill in the Watt Brothers Brand

The Company operated under the Watt Brothers corporate brand, first established in the late 1800s by Allan Watt. The Watt Brothers brand has since become a staple of the Scottish high street, with consumers putting their trust in the brand due to its history and presence in the market. The brand has the potential to be utilised in high street locations, new online ecommerce ventures, and also licencing arrangements with third-party UK outlets.

Goodwill in the Company’s Product Brands

The Company holds registered rights to two product brands, ‘Turnberry Crystal’ and the ‘California Candle’, which are used to market the Company’s bespoke crystal and candle lines respectively.

Trade Marks

The Company holds rights to two registered trade marks and one trade mark application protecting two of its product lines and its corporate brand respectively, being: (i) a word mark for the ‘Watt Brothers’ name (application number UK00003442171); (ii) a word mark for the ‘Turnberry Crystal’ product brand (registration number UK00003196557); and (iii) a word mark for the ‘California Candle’ product brand (registration number UK00003231231).

Domain Name(s)

The Company has registered the wattbrothers.com domain name.

Copyright in Website Content

 

The Company operates a corporate website, hosted at wattbrothers.com

Social Media Assets

The Company’s Facebook and Instagram accounts maintain in excess of 22k cumulative followers.

Product Data

The Company maintains an internal buying database with product and supplier information.

 

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Stock and Leasehold

Hilco are also welcoming enquiries for the Company’s remaining stock and leasehold. Further information is available upon request.

Sale Process

Offers for the intellectual property assets are due Friday 29 November 2019 at 4pm GMT.

All expressions of interest and offers should be directed to Hilco Streambank in writing. Please contact Hilco Streambank to obtain an NDA and for more information regarding the sale process. A Bid Submission Form for submitting offers is available on request.

Key Terms & Conditions

The bidder acknowledges that Hilco acts as an agent for the Joint Administrators of the Company who offer for sale only what right, title and interest the Company possesses in the assets. The information provided has not been verified by Hilco and bidders are deemed to have carried out their own due diligence.

VAT at 20% will be added to the price if applicable. A buyer’s premium of 10% applies to this sale. Legal completion to occur within 5 business days of bid acceptance. Hilco Streambank's full Terms and Conditions apply. 

Contact Us

For further information about the sale process please contact the following Hilco Streambank representatives:

Interested Parties

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