BGF first invested in Europe’s largest independent supplier of formal hirewear ACS and its bespoke software business Xedo in January 2015. In September 2015, we provided another £8.5m funding bringing our total investment in the business to £17.3m.

Richard Freedman and his father, Joe, founded ACS Clothing in 1997, building on Joe’s years of experience in running Gilt-Edged, a menswear store in Glasgow. The company took over Blackburn-based Etiquette Formal Hire in April 2011 and lists Debenhams, Slaters, Austin Reed and Burton among its clients, along with its own brand, Cameron Ross. ACS is now located in purpose-built facilities spanning 190,000 sq ft at Eurocentral, just outside Glasgow.

BGF's funding is being used to support the expansion of its operations, including its multichannel offering for retail partners. ACS is looking to replicate its success in the US by establishing operations and recruiting a team to service the US wedding and prom mark. The company has signed a lease on a 244,000sq ft distribution facility in Memphis, Tennessee, near its shipping partner FedEx, to deliver its formalwear direct to its customers across the US.

Dr Teresa Robson-Capps, a former deputy head of HSBC Direct Bank, joined ACS Clothing in January 2014 as the chair of its board, bringing with her experience gained at companies including Accenture, Cable & Wireless, Great Universal Stores, Sears Retail Services, and Zurich Insurance.