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In the summer of 2006, Theo Paphitis sold his majority stake in La Senza for a cool £100m. Just a few months later the same buyer snapped up his lesser known brand Contessa, for a sum “in the low millions”.
Further to both purchases, private equity firm Lion Capital consolidated their number two position in the lingerie market (behind Marks & Spencer) by integrating the 60 or so Contessa branches into the La Senza brand.
But why am I talking about this now, some 5 years after the sale? Somehow the La Senza sale slipped under my radar and, as a result, I’ve made myself look like a bit of an idiot.
Since the middle of November I have been offering free advice to winners of Small Business Sunday, a weekly Twitter competition hosted by Theo Paphitis. In an effort to demonstrate what was on offer, I posted this #sbs SEO freebie for La Senza.
The post was intended to illustrate the kind of advice I have been giving to #sbs winners: mainly search engine optimisation (SEO), but a little bit of pay per click (PPC) and conversion rate optimisation (CRO) where relevant.
At the same time, I wanted to be a little bit clever….
I know Theo Paphitis reads his Tweets and I’m fairly sure he’s seen my interaction with the weekly #sbs winners. Therefore it didn’t seem that unlikely that he would see the #sbs SEO freebie for La Senza and appreciate the subtle sales pitch.
Unfortunately, I failed to check that he still owned La Senza. Fail. Massive fail.
To rectify the situation I am going to do an #sbs SEO freebie for his newest brand, Boux Avenue, although I can’t see this having the same impact it could have done, had I done it properly first time around.