This high-street chain sells clothes and accessories aimed at fortysomethings. It was founded in 1979 and now has 42 shops and 37 department-store concessions. In January, the firm underwent a £28m management buyout, with funding from Barclays Private Equity, in which founders Patsy Seddon and Peter Urquhart received a reported £13m for their 52% stake. It has since appointed the former New Look chief executive Stephen Sunnucks as non-executive chairman. In 2003 Phase Eight opened 11 new outlets, which helped to boost profits by 59% a year from £840,000 in 2001 to £3.4m in 2004.
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