The force is strong with Star Wars gift firm after £13m investment

A gift company based in Shoreham has received a boost by way of a £13 million investment to accelerate its international growth.

Paladone specialises in the design, development and wholesale supply of licensed and own brand gifting products. Paladone has established strategic license partnerships with leading global brands including Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Star Wars and Nintendo.

Its own-label brands such as Purple Donkey and Scott & Lawson currently account for 30 per cent of revenue.

With a catalogue of more than 800 products, and offices in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, Paladone generated revenues of more than £30million in its latest financial year, with 60 per cent of its sales being international.

Graeme Carr, Managing Director of Paladone, says: “We started out as a small novelty gift company almost 25 years ago, and the commitment and hard work of our team has helped us grow to become an international firm, holding longstanding relationships with some of the world’s best-known brands. Over the years we have significantly invested in the quality and design of our products, which is why we’re now in a market leading position.

For us, the time is right to bring an investment partner on board. In LDC we have found a team who understands our long-term ambitions and can provide us with the strategic expertise to help take the business to the next level.”

LDC’s investment will fuel the business’ global expansion, as it looks to continue its strong growth in the US market, following demand for its products from large retail giants Kohl’s and Target. It is also eyeing growth opportunities in Australia, Asia and Europe, as well as investing in its online ecosystem to help increase revenues generated from its website.

Paladone will continue to be led by Managing Director Graeme Carr and Commercial Director Yann Le Bouedec, supported by Finance Director Steve Fleming. As part of the deal, private equity veteran James Barbour-Smith joins as Non-Executive Chairman. The deal was led for LDC by Christian Bruning, Rob Apollo and Aylesh Patel with Patel and Bruning joining the Paladone board as Non-Executive Directors.

Aylesh Patel at LDC, says: “Paladone’s reputation both in the home market and overseas has seen the business go from strength-to-strength. Partnering with us will give Graeme, Yann and the team additional funding and support to elevate the business’ position on the international stage, explore opportunities to grow both organically and through a buy and build strategy, and enhance the business’ online platform, making it more visible and accessible to customers worldwide.”

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