Peter Black International, a major sourcing company for footwear and other products based at Keihley in Northern England, has been bought by Li & Fung, the large Hong Kong-based sourcing and trading firm, for £48.1 million (€71.2m-$97.1m). Peter Black is a major supplier of footwear to Marks & Spencer, which is a customer of Li & Fung already along with Arcandor, the new name for Germany’s Karstadt-Quelle.

Peter Black, which had sales of £190 million in the year ended last March 31, supplies footwear and personal care products to other UK retail chains such as Next, Boots and the Body Shop. Its shoes carry brand names such as Peter Black and Lenci Calzature.

The takeover should help the Hong Kong group to foster its expansion in Europe. Across the Atlantic Ocean, Li & Fung has acquired among other assets Rosetti, an American supplier of shoes and handbags, and Regatta USA, a supplier of various lines of clothing, largely sourced in the Far East.

These and other acquisitions helped Li & Fung to raise its sales by 35 percent to HK$37.8 billion (€3552.6m-$4849.3m) in the first half of this year. The net profit rose by 38 percent to HK$1.2 billion (€112.8m-$153.9m).