RJD invested in the management buyout of Barber in October 2016. Operating from an office and warehouse space in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, the business was a major distributer of body art consumables and studio accessories in Europe, as well as a supplier of specialist products to the medical and veterinary markets. Our understanding of the business model and 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, who were familiar with RJD’s focus on consumer niches and commitment to growth through acquisition. We were 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 was fragmented and demand-led and was experiencing significant growth across Europe.
During the investment period, RJD worked with the management team to shift the focus of the business solely towards the body art sector, with the objective of being both the pre-eminent transactional e-commerce platform and an owner of much loved tattoo brands. RJD also strongly supported investment in IT, warehousing infrastructure and talent to support delivery of the plan and growth in revenue and profits.
The Company delivered impressive organic growth, particularly in continental Europe, during this time frame and also completed two bolt on acquisitions which built further scale.
RJD exited their investment in Barber in December 2018 delivering an IRR to its investors of 92%. The Business was acquired by a North American strategic purchaser, Nexus Brands.