European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital has acquired UK footwear chain Office for an undisclosed amount from West Coast Capital (WCC).

Brian McCluskey will continue to serve as CEO of Office under Silverfleet's ownership.

As part of the deal management will also invest to acquire a stake in the business, a statement said. Debt capital was provided by Lloyds Banking Group, Banca IMI and the Cooperative Bank.

Gareth Whiley, partner at Silverfleet Capital, said: "Office is a great business with a management team that really understands what its customer wants. The young fashion sector of the footwear market is growing fast and there is still room for a roll-out of stores within the UK and potentially overseas."

Office first opened in 1981 and has since grown to 75 stand-alone stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and 46 concessions in House of Fraser, Topshop, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. It also operates an internet business.

Office, whose total sales in 2009 were GBP146m (US$228.4m) with earnings of GBP18.5m last year, sells brands including Ugg, Converse, Vans and Hunter as well as its own-branded shoes.

Sir Tom Hunter, chairman of WCC, who bought the Office chain in 2003 when it had 23 stores, said: "Having held Office for seven years and grown it to become the dominant UK fashion footwear business it was appropriate to sell to Silverfleet Capital to oversee the next phase of growth.

"Brian [McCluskey] and the management team have done an outstanding job and we wish them and Silverfleet Capital well going forward."

In October, Silverfleet announced the acquisition of the Schneider Group, a leading German catalogue and on-line retailer of fashion, lifestyle and gift products.

It also sold Histoire D’Or, a jewellery retailer in France, that month.