RJD invested in the management buyout of Barber of Sheffield in October 2016. Operating from an office and warehouse space in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, the business is the largest supplier of body art consumables and studio accessories in Europe, as well as supplying specialist products tailored to the medical and veterinary markets. Our flexibility in structuring a deal that satisfied a number of stakeholders won us the deal.
We were introduced to the sale process by the vendors’ advisers, with whom we had worked successfully in the past on several occasions. We were initially attracted to the business due to its strong historic growth, market-leading high quality product range and large, diversified customer base of over 15,000 customers serviced through an international e-commerce website. The underlying body art market is fragmented and demand-led and is experiencing significant growth across Europe.
Throughout the sale process, we maintained a consistent and open dialogue with the company’s stakeholders including management, two venture capital funds and the original founders of the business, Tony and Stephanie Crane. We were able to structure the transaction to achieve objectives of all stakeholders, which was key to delivering the deal. Tony had a desire to remain involved with the business and in recognition of the sector-expertise and strategic focus that he brings, Tony will remain on the board as a non-executive director under RJD’s ownership.
RJD is committed to backing and investing alongside proven incumbent management teams and we worked closely with Richard Boston (CEO) and Craig Burns (CFO) prior to making our investment. Richard and Craig have an excellent track record, having overseen and delivered the group’s recent expansion and we were therefore keen to back them through the buyout.
The business received development capital in 2012 and has demonstrated significant growth by transforming its operation from a catalogue-based model to an e-commerce platform whilst at the same time pursuing organic and acquisition-led growth in continental Europe. Under RJD’s ownership, we will continue to support this proven growth strategy via further product extension, geographic expansion and acquisition-led growth. During the process, we developed a strong relationship with the company’s incumbent bankers who have provided an enlarged facility to support these expansion plans.
To discuss Barber of Sheffield in more detail, please contact Frank Bulman.