Clearwater International has advised Character World, a licensed bedding specialist, on a €46m secondary management buyout backed by Palatine Private Equity.
Character World provides licensed bedding and other homeware-related products to a range of age groups from pre-school children to students. The firm works with some of the world’s most iconic gaming, character and music entertainment companies and acquires the UK product licensing rights to many global brands including Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Lego and One Direction.
Character World supplies many major retailers in the UK and has enjoyed substantial growth, with sales set to reach over €40m to December 2014. Having recently secured European licensing rights for a number of globally renowned brands, the company is now able to meet increased demand from leading European retailers.
The investment from Palatine along with funding from RBS will allow the business to consolidate its UK market leading position and capitalise on international growth.
“The transaction provides a successful exit for RJD and provides the management team with a new partner for the next phase of its growth strategy. Since RJD invested six years ago, Character World has cemented its position as the clear leader in the UK licensed textiles market and significantly increased its retail customer base. With the business increasingly focused on Europe, Character World is facing exciting opportunities and significant growth potential. It is another example of an outstanding management team leading a UK consumer business to be a success internationally.”
Gareth Iley, Head of Consumer at Clearwater International
“The Clearwater International team demonstrated a strong understanding of consumer markets and an excellent understanding of the licensing world. They delivered a genuinely partner-led approach but we were equally impressed by the quality of the individuals throughout their team. We enjoyed working with the team, who delivered an excellent result for all shareholders, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Alex Hay, Partner at RJD Partners