Lead Forensics

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Paladone: Driving global expansion

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

Sector
  • Retail & consumer

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

Deal type
  • Development capital
Investment

£13m

Brighton-based Paladone specialises in the design, development and wholesale supply of licensed and own-brand lifestyle products. The company has developed strategic licensed partnerships with major global brands including Walt Disney, Warner Brothers and Microsoft.

With a range of more than 1000 products and offices in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, Paladone generated revenues of more than £44m in FY19 and 52 per cent of its sales were from international markets.

Business evolution

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

Since then, Paladone has grown from a gifting product specialist with a UK focus into a global omni-channel consumer products company that launches more than 600 new lifestyle products every year – across homeware, drinkware, accessories, puzzles and games and health and beauty.

Over the last three years, Paladone has 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.

Growing internationally

Paladone has taken advantage of strong demand for its products from US retail giants Kohl’s, Target and Walgreens and continued to expand in Europe and Australasia. It maintains on the ground sales teams in key markets and a growing international logistics operation to support the rapid distribution of its products globally, with warehouses on both US coasts and Germany.

Today, Paladone exports to more than 80 countries worldwide, with international sales accounting for 65% of its revenue – up from 50% when LDC first invested in the business.

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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. The steps we take now are firmly focused on creating the most value for our business and driving growth.”
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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With LDC’s support, our sales channels are well positioned to take advantage of the changing dynamics of retail. An increasingly diverse set of bricks and mortar retailers are stocking our products across more of their departments, while our growing online presence means we are able to reach the target audiences for each of our products directly.”
Yann Le Bouedec, Commercial Director
Paladone