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CASE STUDY

Paladone: Driving global expansion

Partnership helped UK gifting business grow into a global lifestyle products company.

Paladone is the UK’s market-leading designer, innovator and supplier of gifting products.

Investment

£13m

Exit date

November 2021

Brighton-based Paladone specialises in the design, development and wholesale supply of licensed and own-brand lifestyle products. It launches hundreds of new products a year across categories such as homeware, drinkware, puzzles and games, and supplies international retail giants such as Kohl’s, Target and Walgreens.

Business evolution

LDC backed Paladone in April 2018 with a £13m investment. The management team partnered with LDC to help drive forward its ambitious international growth plan.

During a three-year partnership, Paladone has grown from a gifting product specialist with a UK focus into a global omni-channel consumer products company. LDC helped the business to revenues by more than 65 percent over three years. The business also increased its total headcount by 40 percent and now employs 140 people across its offices in the UK, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

Growing internationally

Working closely with LDC, the management team successfully pursued international growth by agreeing major new partnerships with high street retail giants across North America, Europe and Australasia. The business double its international sales and today exports to more than 80 countries worldwide.

During the partnership, Paladone invested in the development of new beauty and lifestyle products and introduced the use of BDPTM, a biodegradable plastic that decomposes naturally in landfill. Paladone also signed several new licence partnerships with globally recognised brands, including PlayStation, Microsoft and Minecraft, and expanded its existing partnerships with Disney, Warner Brothers and Nintendo. The business now generates a third of its revenue by designing and developing new innovative products for its partners’ biggest properties, such as Disney’s Marvel Studios and Star Wars.

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LDC has given us the confidence to make decisions as bold as our ambitions and pushed us in exciting new directions we would have been reluctant to explore without the support of an experienced investor.”
Yann Le Bouedec, Commercial Director
Paladone

Unlocking digital sales channels

With LDC’s support, Paladone has also grown and diversified its customer base. Since 2018, it has added more high street retailers to its portfolio while significantly increasing its digital presence with the help of LDC’s Value Creation Partners, particularly through Amazon.

Paladone’s online sales now account for more than a quarter of its revenues, up from 12 per cent in 2018.

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LDC’s Value Creation Partners have also helped us to enhance our online sales channels to take advantage of the changing dynamics of retail. We are now well positioned to support an increasingly diverse set of bricks and mortar retailers and reach more customers directly online.”
Yann Le Bouedec, Commercial Director
Paladone

In November 2021, LDC exited its investment in Paladone to Canadian private equity firm IVEST Consumer Partners.