Inflexion sells Ideal Shopping Direct to Blackstone

Inflexion is pleased to announce that it has agreed to sell Ideal Shopping Direct, one of the UK’s leading multi-channel home shopping retailers, to private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”).

Ideal Shopping Direct operates in two distinct and growing markets, TV shopping and the craft and hobbyist market, selling a variety of popular lifestyle products through well-established TV shopping channels ‘Ideal World’ and ‘Create & Craft’, as well as multiple internet sites.

Inflexion invested in Ideal Shopping Direct in 2011, successfully delisting the company from AIM in a take-private. We backed the incumbent management team who still lead this thriving company today. Capitalising on the increasing popularity of crafting in the UK, fuelled by the success of television shows such as the Great British Bake Off and Sewing Bee, our strategy focused on accelerating growth through targeted acquisitions and international expansion. Deramores and Craft Channel Productions were both acquired and integrated into the business; extending Ideal Shopping Direct’s offering and increasing customer numbers.

More latterly, Inflexion helped Ideal Shopping Direct establish its presence in the U.S., a multi-billion dollar crafting market currently dominated by bricks and mortar retailers, through a partnership with a local distributor and the launch of a dedicated US TV channel. Ideal Shopping Direct now accesses c.40 million U.S. households.

John Hartz, Managing Partner at Inflexion, commented “Ideal is a large, multi-channel retailer with an exceptional product range. We worked hand-in-hand with its ambitious management team to focus on key segments, such as Create & Craft, to maximise our share of the growing craft market. The company’s successful US market entry establishes it as a truly multinational retailer, well-placed to capitalise on a significant market opportunity. We wish the team every success.”

Mike Hancox, Chief Executive Officer of Ideal Shopping Direct, commented “I would like to thank Inflexion for its support and commitment to our business over the last four years, during which time we have expanded our offering both in the UK and overseas. We are excited about the next stage of growth with Blackstone.”

The completion of this transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

The sale process was led by Tim Smallbone.

Ideal Shopping Direct

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