Valuing the business at £36 million, a £16 million investment from Manchester-based Palatine Private Equity plus debt facilities of £22 million from RBS will allow Character World to consolidate its position in the U.K. and continue to expand abroad.
The deal marks the exit of RJD Partners, which funded a management buyout of the company in 2008.
“Character World has cemented its position as the clear leader in the U.K. licensed textiles market and significantly increased its retail customer base,” says Gareth Iley, partner, Clearwater International, which advised shareholders on the sale. “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 U.K. consumer business to be a success internationally.”
Joint managing directors Danny and Mark Schweiger will continue to run the Cheadle-based business, with representatives of Palatine joining the board as non-executive directors.
“We’re extremely excited Palatine will be backing Character World in the next phase of our exciting journey, following an extremely successful year of license wins, retail partnerships and expansion into new international territories,” says Danny Schweiger. “My brother Mark and I will continue to run the business, and our focus going forward will be on growing our U.K. business whilst becoming a successful international company.”
The company recently reported a 31 percent turnover rise, from £22.3 million in 2012 to £29.2 million in 2013. Pre-tax profit has also climbed from £2.96 million to £4.22 million.