Character World has been the subject of a secondary management buyout, valuing the business at £36m.
A £16m investment from Manchester-based Palatine Private Equity, plus debt facilities of £22m from RBS, will allow Character World to consolidate its market-leading position in the UK and capitalise on international growth opportunities.
The deal sees an exit for RJD Partners who funded a management buyout in 2008.
Joint managing directors, Danny and Mark Schweiger (pictured above), will continue to run the Cheadle-based business, with representatives of Palatine joining the board as non-executive directors.
“We’re extremely excited Palatine will be backing Character World in the next phase of our exciting journey, following an extremely successful year of licence wins, retail partnerships and expansion into new international territories," said Danny Schweiger, joint managing director at Character World.
“My brother Mark and I will continue to run the business and our focus going forward will be on growing our UK business whilst becoming a successful international company. The future is full of opportunities that we intend to grasp.”
Andy Lees, partner at Palatine Private Equity, added: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the business after securing a number of quality licences with high-profile brands in Europe to build on the market leading position in the UK. The management team has done a fantastic job in growing the business over the past few years and it’s a pleasure to be working with them as they gear up for international growth.”
Clearwater International advised shareholders of the company on the sale and Clearwater partner, Gareth Iley, commented: “Character World has cemented its position as the clear leader in the UK licensed textiles market and significantly increased its retail customer base.
"With the business increasingly focused on Europe, Character World is facing exciting opportunities and significant growth potential. It is another example of an outstanding management team leading a UK consumer business to be a success internationally.”