Eton: A sea of hands says it all

The premium shirt brand Eton’s CEO Hans Davidson and Per Franzén, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT VII, share some insights on why Eton decided to join forces with EQT and vice versa

Why did you choose to partner with EQT? 

Hans Davidson - “It was particularly important for us to find a partner that would be able to support our international expansion. While we were approached by a number of parties, EQT stood out in this respect. Having successfully built global companies before, they were able to offer us access to a global platform with the experience and competencies to take Eton to the next level.”

What factors drew EQT to Eton?

Per Franzén - “Well, the main reason was Eton’s long and focused history of making high-quality shirts, and in addition, that the company has a very strong track record of growth. It is now eight months since EQT started working together with Hans and his team, and we have not been disappointed so far!

At EQT’s annual investor conference held in Stockholm before summer, Hans asked the crowd to raise a hand if they were wearing an Eton shirt – it came as no surprise when a sea of hands shot up in the congress hall. To have that kind of brand appeal and customer loyalty, you have to produce high-quality products and offer a great service, which is exactly what Eton does.”

..and what about progress so far, what has happened since teaming up with EQT? 

Hans - “One key aspect is the new board that EQT has sourced, which adds more experience and knowledge to the team than a company of Eton’s size is normally able to attract. Similarly, the opportunity to informally discuss with the Troika (which is a forum consisting of the CEO, Chairman and the EQT Partner) has been incredibly useful supporting me with both day-to-day management as well as the formulation and execution of our omni-channel strategy.”

How does Eton's culture chime with EQT's? 

Hans - “EQT’s culture is actually very similar to our own – we were both founded on the Swedish principals of humbleness and transparency. We work very well together and I’m impressed with how the EQT team has managed the balance of supporting development, while still leaving room for us in management to implement the strategy.”

How do you see Eton growing over the next five years? 

Hans - “We are planning to build on the current momentum and continue our growth journey, both in existing and new markets, and through our own online store. We are putting further focus on our end customer, and want to deliver a unique, amazing and tailored shirt experience for each and every customer in all interactions with the Eton brand.”

On a final (editor's) note, Eton is described in the most aspirational way in Huffington Post: as a perfect combination of the three C:s of Fashion - conscious, classy and comfy. A great support to the international expansion of Eton! Read the full article here.

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