Kitchen Craft acquired by US-based Lifetime Brands

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Kitchen Craft, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of kitchenware products and accessories, is looking forward to further growth and investment following its acquisition by NASDAQ-listed Lifetime Brands (NASDAQ GS: LCUT) for an undisclosed sum.

Birmingham-based Kitchen Craft was established in 1850 as Thomas Plant and has remained in family ownership ever since. The business sells a wide range of branded and own brand kitchenware products. Other than Kitchen Craft, the firm sells products under a number of brands including Masterclass, Colourworks, Bar Craft and Sweetly Does It. With an extensive customer base ranging from independent stores through to larger chains, the company supplies over 2,600 customers both in the UK and across more than 70 countries worldwide.

Lifetime Brands is a global provider of branded kitchenware, tableware and other home products, supplying the top homeware retailers in North America. As part of the Lifetime Brands portfolio, Kitchen Craft will operate as a separate division under the continuing leadership of Andrew Plant, Richard Plant and Peter Bushell. The acquisition of Kitchen Craft broadens the customer base of Lifetime Brands in the UK and Europe. Lifetime acquired the leading tableware and accessories business Creative Tops in 2011 and both Kitchen Craft and Creative Tops will continue to be run separately.

Andrew Plant, managing director of Kitchen Craft, said: “This is a milestone for our 164-year old business, which is known for its portfolio of kitchenware brands, customer service and its deeply loyal customer base. Lifetime is known as a stable, long-term owner of businesses and this combination provides us with the ideal platform on which to grow and to support our customers. The acquisition provides us with the resources and scale necessary to drive our future success and will further strengthen our existing product development, sourcing and distribution capabilities.

“My family and I would like to express our thanks and deep appreciation to all our employees, customers, suppliers and overseas business partners for their on going dedication and support. We hope all will share our excitement as we look forward to the next stage of our growth.”

Jeffrey Siegel, chairman and chief executive officer of Lifetime Brands, said: “The acquisition of Thomas Plant represents a compelling opportunity for Lifetime that will accelerate our growth and make Lifetime a more effective global resource to our key retailer partners. We are impressed by the commitment and passion of Kitchen Craft’s management, which has fostered a culture of quality, innovation and outstanding customer service that is very similar to our own.”

A team at Clearwater Corporate Finance, led by consumer partner Gareth Iley and director John Clarke, advised the shareholders of Kitchen Craft on the deal.

Gareth Iley, head of the Consumer team at Clearwater Corporate Finance, said: “With the UK economy in recovery, we are seeing an increase in overseas companies, particularly in the US, looking to expand their portfolios in the UK and Europe. Kitchen Craft and Lifetime Brands share the same values and ethos and the combination of these two businesses will provide significant opportunities for growth both in the UK and internationally.”

The shareholders of Kitchen Craft were also advised by Shakespeares Legal LLP with a team led by David Stevenson, partner, with tax advice provided by BDO. Lifetime Brands was advised by Daniel Domberger at Livingstone Partners and Keith Gilbert from the Leicester office of Gateleys LLP.