(Bloomberg) -- British premium sportswear brand Castore has secured a £145 million ($184 million) cash injection led by US investment bank Raine Group as it looks to challenge heavy hitters such as Nike Inc. and Adidas AG.
The funding round valued Castore, which already counts tennis star Andy Murray as a shareholder, at around £950 million, according to a person familiar with the deal.
Other new investors include venture capital firms Hanaco Ventures and Felix Capital. Raine invested through its growth equity fund division. As well as Murray, Castore’s existing shareholders include the Issa brothers, who own the UK’s Asda supermarket group with TDR Capital, and New Look founder Tom Singh.
The company will use the funding to improve its supply chain and data analytics capabilities, boost sales, and invest in staff and infrastructure, it said in a statement.
Brothers Tom and Phil Beahon, who founded the company in 2016, have expanded Castore by offering targeted mid-tier Premier League football clubs bespoke kits, rather than off-the-rack items like some of its larger competitors. Castore also supplies uniforms to tennis player Andy Murray and the England cricket team.
However, the Manchester-based brand has come under fire for the quality of some of the shirts it supplies.
Earlier this year, Aston Villa FC players lashed out at Castore for their wet-look shirts, complaining that the sweat-soaked kit hindered their performance. That sparked a slew of complaints from other clubs about the quality of Castore’s shirts and late delivery of products.
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