House of Busby, the retailer that has exclusive distribution rights for global brands such as Aldo, Guess and Steve Madden, has been sold to Cavico, a privately held company that has distribution rights in SA for prominent beauty brands. Busby has been constrained by debt and hobbled by long-standing squabbles among shareholders. Much like Edcon, Busby was previously bought by a private equity company in a highly geared deal and delisted in what was soon to become a tough market. Ethos Fund V bought Busby in 2008 and held the investment until the sale to Cavico, longer than a private equity firm typically holds a business. Ultimately, the investment was "disappointing" for Ethos, said Chelsea Wilkinson, head of corporate relations at Ethos. It is not clear how much Ethos lost on its investment, but it is believed to be a substantial amount. Initial owners Keith and David Brouze had been embroiled in arbitration over "misrepresentation" with previous shareholders. An insider said the...

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