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Ideal Shopping Direct

Wishing to come off the Alternative Investment Market and focus on its IT infrastructure, Ideal Shopping Direct partnered with Inflexion in June 2011. They delisted the business, established a presence in the US and grew the company before selling to Blackstone in November 2015.

  • Sector

    Consumer

  • Headquarters

    Peterborough, UK

  • Fund

    Buyout

  • Investment date

    June 2011 - November 2015

  • Status

    Realised

The company

Ideal Shopping Direct is one of the UK’s leading multi-channel home shopping retailers, selling via TV channels and the internet. The company’s flagship TV channel is Ideal World (Sky, Freeview, Freesat and Virgin), supported by three other channels – Create and Craft (Sky Freeview and Freesat), Ideal Extra (Sky and Freesat) and Ideal & More (Sky). 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 its channels as well as multiple internet sites.

The Inflexion investment

Inflexion invested in Ideal Shopping Direct in 2011, successfully delisting the company from AIM in a £73m take-private.

The Inflexion difference

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. During our ownership, craft club members increased from 55,000 to 90,000. We also introduced a highly experienced Chairman.

In addition, our Digital Director worked with the team to undertake a digital audit of the business, assessing the customer experience across divisions and through its diverse channels in order to inform the development of the company’s websites and trading platforms to enhance its multi-channel offering.
Inflexion also helped Ideal Shopping Direct establish its presence in the US through a partnership with a local distributor and the launch of a dedicated US TV channel. Ideal Shopping Direct now accesses around 40 million US households.

During our stewardship, employee numbers grew from over 580 at investment to more than 820 at exit. Inflexion generated a total realised return on investment of 2.6x.

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