Peter Black International

Management Buyout

Peter Black International is a leader in product design, development, sourcing and logistics for premier UK and European retailing groups in the personal care, footwear, accessories and gifts markets. Since it began trading in the 1940s, the Peter Black group progressively built its reputation as one of the UK's leading suppliers to the non-food retail sector. The group adapted to changing economic circumstances, evolving to become a significant design, development and sourcing operation for major UK retailers. At the time of the Endless-led acquisition, the group had annual revenues of £220 million.

Endless combined with Gordon Black (Chairman) and Stephen Lister (CEO) to deliver a secondary management buyout in July 2006. Immediately following the acquisition, Endless and management embarked on an intensive value creation process that encompassed an array of initiatives across the four trading subsidiaries. This included, inter alia, providing new capital to aggressively target high profile customers, investing in product initiatives that required funding for rollout, improving working capital management, acquiring new product licenses for gifts and beauty products, optimising the opportunities within the extensive real estate portfolio, managing the group’s defined benefit pension scheme and mitigating legacy liabilities.

The value creation plan produced by Endless and management also involved a dual-track exit planning strategy, addressing a group sale to large overseas trading houses or a break-up plan with three separate sales of subsidiaries. As a result of the sheer quantum of initiatives that needed to be progressed, the exit planning commenced immediately following the initial transaction.

As a consequence of these plans, a disposal of one of the subsidiaries was close to fruition when the simultaneous group disposal plan was accelerated following a target buyer showing a strong degree of strategic interest. A sale of the group to two of Li & Fung’s subsidiaries was completed in August 2007, delivering a market-leading return for Endless on its initial investment. In total, more than £50 million of additional value was created following the initial acquisition in July 2006.

"Peter Black has long been a great business. The new ownership structure will provide an ideal platform for implementing the future growth plans developed for the group with Endless. We are extremely pleased that Endless has provided such significant support to the group and their style and approach has been first class. From our original roots in Yorkshire we are now a global business and the future opportunities for our group are exciting and substantial."

Gordon Black, Chairman of Peter Black International - Jul 2006

“Endless showed outstanding initiative in backing Peter Black International last year when others would not, and their courage and foresight have been well rewarded.”

Gordon Black, Chairman of Peter Black International - Aug 2007