Endless LLP sells Peter Black International

Endless LLP is delighted to announce that it has entered into an agreement to sell its majority equity investment in Peter Black International Limited (the ‘Group’) to a wholly owned subsidiary of Li & Fung Limited, a global trading house listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

As part of the overall transaction the group has also agreed to sell its logistics subsidiary, Peter Black Logistics Limited, to a wholly owned subsidiary of an associated company of Li & Fung, Integrated Distribution Services Group Limited, a global logistics business which is also listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Associated announcements issued by these companies are available at www.lifung.com and www.idsgroup.com. 

The purchaser has also taken responsibility for the debt in the group, with the total enterprise value being undisclosed. The shares in the Group were sold at a value in excess of £48 million, with the vast majority of shares being held by Endless and the Peter Black management team.  Endless backed a secondary buyout in July 2006 led by Gordon Black (Chairman) and Stephen Lister (Chief Executive). Endless has exited with a three times return on its  initial investment in just 13 months, having generated an internal rate of return (IRR) of 215%.

Peter Black International and its subsidiaries are principally engaged in design, sourcing and supply chain management for premier UK and European retail groups specialising in footwear, accessories and personal care merchandise. The Group has revenues in excess of £240 million and is a major supplier to Marks & Spencer and other major high street retailers around Europe. 

Gordon Black CBE, Chairman of Peter Black International, commented: “Throughout our 60-year history, we have a proud record of redirecting the business in line with changes in the market place. The globalisation of the supply chain for consumer products is now a reality and the timing of this change is absolutely right. The combined strengths of Li & Fung and Peter Black will sharpen our competitive edge and enable us to offer our customers a broader range of product and market leading value.” 

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

Darren Forshaw, Partner at Endless, who led both the original investment and the current exit, commented: “Our investment in Peter Black in 2006 was a landmark deal for Endless. We were confident that the Group offered significant strategic value to international trading houses seeking direct access to UK markets and this has been evidenced by this transaction. The management team, led by Gordon Black and
Stephen Lister, has delivered outstanding and consistent performance in fiercely competitive markets and the link-up with Li & Fung will provide even greater opportunities for the Group.”

He added: “For Endless this transaction has delivered an excellent return just ahead of closing our first institutional fundraising. This fund will give us the firepower to do more Peter Black-style deals.

”Chris Clegg and Mathew Deering at Endless supported Darren Forshaw on the transaction. Endless was advised by Walker Morris (Peter Smart and Richard Naish) and Deloitte (Martin Jenkins). Li & Fung were advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers (Nigel Ward), Johnson Stokes & Master (Mark Stevens) and Kingsley Napley (David Moss).