Launched in 1982 by French Connection as a womenswear brand, Nicole Farhi grew through the 80s and 90s to become a critically acclaimed fashion and lifestyle house. However, by the late 2000s, the company had become heavily loss-making as a result of a lack of dedicated management and financial controls. This led to a private equity fund purchasing the business in 2010 and installing an asset based lender to fund its working capital requirements.
By mid-2011, the shareholders found themselves in the position where the ABL wished to exit its position and other lenders were unwilling to fund the business. At this point, the management team was introduced to Hilco Capital.