The sale of a UK clothing retailer to a US company has seen its stock soar after it completed a deal to buy a UK-based business.
Westport Clothing Group (WCLG) has sold its clothing and accessories business to US clothing company Uniqlo for £20 million ($29 million).
The company’s shares jumped 10% to £23.23 after the news was announced on the company’s website on Tuesday morning.
The sale is the latest in a string of mergers and acquisitions that have seen businesses move from the UK to the US in recent years.
“We have a long history of working with our customers in the UK and are delighted to be joining a growing list of American companies, many of which have been investing in their UK operations,” WCLG chief executive David O’Brien said.
WCLS has a global reach with over 20 stores in the US and Europe, according to its website.
The sale will also see the acquisition of the company, which has been run by a former UK chief executive, David Mottram, since 2015.
Mottram had left WCLS in November to take up the position of Uniqla chief executive.
In addition to the sale, the acquisition will give WCLGs global retail operations and expand the company to include its online store.
“This is a big deal for us, as the UK is one of our key growth markets and we are proud to be working with the team here in the USA,” said WCLGS chief executive Paul McInnes.
“The UK is a great country with great culture, great history and great people.
We have a great team here, and we will bring them to the USA to work on exciting projects and new products.”
Uniqlo is owned by Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, which makes the Huawei Ascend P9.
The P9 is the flagship smartphone of the Chinese tech giant.
The acquisition will see WCLOGs remaining UK business expand into the US, where the company is focused on selling clothing and accessory brands.
Uniqulo’s shares have soared in the last few months.
The company posted an initial public offering last year for $13.40 per share, making it one of the most expensive tech stocks in the world, according at CoinDesk.
Uniqla has been struggling to survive the transition to a more expensive Chinese smartphone market, which the company had hoped to take advantage of with its low prices.
UQL was founded in 2015, after the UK’s Conservative government privatised some aspects of the country’s public services in the 1970s and 1980s.
The company has struggled to maintain the brand as it has also been struggling with a lack of female employees, a problem compounded by the fact that the majority of its workforce is male.
WCLOG has struggled for years to retain its female workforce.
“This acquisition will be an important part of our strategy for growth and expansion, and it will be a welcome addition to our global team,” said McInne.
In addition, WCLGA is building a new campus in Westport, Connecticut, which will see an increase in staff in its office space and more locations of its stores in various parts of the US.