John Hardy has sold his stake in his namesake firm in a management buyout headed by company president Damien Dernoncourt and creative director Guy Bedarida.
Hardy will no longer have a full-time position or stake in the company but will consult as a “brand visionary” and “brand ambassador.” Hardy’s wife and business partner, Cynthia, will act as merchandising consultant.
Terri Eagle will continue to serve as president of John Hardy USA, reporting to Dernoncourt. The company said its retail sales in the United States last year reached $150 million.
Hardy decided to sell the company so he could focus on his social interests, Dernoncourt told JCK. “He saw he had reached a certain point with the company,” he said. “He was spending a lot of time in Africa and on environmental issues and with the holistic school he started in Bali. He has a lot of different projects, and that is what he likes, and that is what he is excited about.”
Hardy wanted a management buyout so the company could “remain independent,” Dernoncourt said. “We didn’t want to become part of a brand portfolio,” he explained. “We wanted to retain the values of the company, including the same love of handmade product.”
Dernoncourt declined to disclose details of the deal. While the deal is backed by private equity, there are no trade names involved, he said.
The new management’s goal is to triple business in the next four years. “We have some ambitious goals for the company,” Dernoncourt said. “We want to grow the number of collections but continue to focus on our core business. We are about to announce some important partnerships in the Middle East, Japan, and Russia.”
The company plans to do more with 18k gold, semiprecious stones, and diamonds, said Bedarida, who will be the driving force on design. It will also relaunch its Lifestyle collection.
Dernoncourt, 35, joined John Hardy in 2003 as chief financial officer for Asia after receiving an MBA in Paris. He was promoted to group president in 2004. Bedarida, 43, joined John Hardy as head designer in 1999.
The brand was started by Hardy, a Canadian art student, and wife Cynthia in 1989.
Lincoln International acted as an advisor on the transaction.