Pandora Books, the leading supplier of book collections to schools, has been acquired by Martin Green, the managing director, and Key Capital Partners (KCP), the Cambridge based private equity group, for an undisclosed sum.
The Birmingham office of Yorkshire Bank is providing senior debt and working capital facilities for the deal.
The business, founded by Nick and Mike Ison in King’s Lynn in 1987, has seen significant growth in recent years as its catalogue business has complemented the service provided to schools by Pandora’s sales operations. The KCP investment is designed to accelerate further growth through these channels and a new specialist website.
Martin Green said: “The Pandora team are very excited at the opportunities made possible by the KCP investment. We have just recruited a new internet marketing manager, who will shortly be joined by new sales & marketing and finance directors to replace the retiring partners. We are also finalising plans for expanding our offices and warehouse to support the ongoing growth of the business.”
Trevor Goul-Wheeker has been appointed non-executive chairman. Previously with Hammicks Bookshops and WH Smith, Trevor said, “It is good to return to the book trade and even better to be associated with a business as successful as Pandora. I look forward to supporting the management team to achieve their exciting growth plans and would hope that these may be complemented by selective acquisitions.”
Ian Mansell and Ian Howey, Specialist & Acquisition Finance directors led the team for Yorkshire Bank out of Birmingham. Ian Mansell commented: “We are delighted to have again worked with KCP, in supporting their latest investment. Pandora operates in an interesting niche sector and we look forward to supporting Martin, Trevor and KCP to achieve their targeted plans to take this business to the next level.”
Owen Trotter, partner at KCP, who will also join the board as non-executive director, added: “We are very pleased to have been able to invest in Pandora and its management at such an exciting stage in its development. The Ison family, together with Martin, have built a strong business and have identified a number of attractive opportunities for further growth.”
KCP were advised by Grant Thornton (Chris Key and Mark Gillings), AMR (Peter Howson) and Birketts LLP, Cambridge (Adrian Seagers and Nick Burt). The vendors were advised by PKF (UK) LLP (Keith Ferguson and Matthew King) and Mills and Reeve LLP (Craig Hodgson). Yorkshire Bank was advised by Martineau Johnson in Birmingham (David Doogan).