WP Display is a leading designer and supplier of retail display equipment to the Greeting Card, Gift-wrap and Stationery Markets. Operating since 1994, the company established a reputation for expertise in the design, manufacture and supply of Innovative Display Solutions, working in partnership with leading Specialist Retailers (e.g. Clintons Cards) and Publishers (e.g. Hallmark) as well as Major Multiples (e.g. Tesco, Sainsbury) and Convenience Groups (e.g. Co-Op). Staff of 17, Turnover c. £4m.
As the owner, Colin Gregory, considered his personal options, we were asked to find a potential acquirer whilst Colin was relaxed about the exact point of his departure post transaction.
The likely buyers would inevitably have some reasonably close links to the core business and as such our search focussed upon the retail display and design market-place, shop fitting and interiors. However, with the consolidation in this market-place reflecting that of the retailers that form the bulk of the industry’s customer-base, we felt it important to approach overseas buyers, whilst still keeping in perspective the scale of our client’s business.
Having had a broad range of discussions with different parties from across Europe, our preferred bidder was chosen as The Kleerex Group, from Ireland. With an existing footprint in the UK (Bristol) and having gone through previous acquisitions, they proved to be a sensible party to negotiate with through the transaction. Working alongside on the legal documentation was Boyes Turner.
In a niche market such as this it is important to generate a sufficiently large pool of potential acquirers in order to create the much-needed competitive tension between bidders. Whilst it would have been possible to simply approach direct competitors as in most cases the best offer overall in terms of price, structure and the future of the company came from an organisation one step removed from the direct market.
Being part of the Kleerex Group now provides us with an array of new and exciting opportunities. It gives us access to a Total Service Offer and this will greatly benefit our customers. Looking forward I see great potential for synergies across all facets of the business and it is a really exciting time for us.
Colin Gregory, Managing Director