Letts Filofax Group, a global supplier of paper-based stationery products and related accessories, confirmed last week that it had been bought by HSGP Investments, Ltd., a company wholly owned by Dallas, Texas-based entrepreneur Harolde Savoy and Letts Filofax CEO Gordon Presly. HSGP has acquired 100 percent of the share capital of FLB Group Ltd, the holding company that owns all the assets within the Letts and Filofax businesses, for an undisclosed amount. Letts Filofax is based in Dalkeith, near Edinburgh, Scotland.
Speaking with PPB Newslink on the future of Letts Filofax, Savoy says that while plans for the company going forward are still being firmed up, everyone wants to “take advantage of the company’s strengths in marketing and a great retail product offering, and join that to [Blueline/Rediform Group’s] great customer service.”
Savoy’s family owns stationery supplier Blueline/Rediform Group in North America. Dominion Blueline, Inc. (UPIC: DOMI0002) is based in Montreal, Canada, and Rediform, Inc. (UPIC: R338290) is based in Dallas.
In March, Blueline/Rediform Group also acquired Lewiston, Maine-based SunGraphix (UPIC: SUNGRAPH) and its diary, planner and journal collections. Savoy says the acquisition of Letts Filofax is part of its focus on the promotional products industry. “[As this comes] right after our announcement about the acquisition of SunGraphix, the industry should welcome our commitment to being a key player in these existing and new categories.”
Presly was appointed CEO of Letts in 1998 and of Letts Filofax in 2001 when Filofax was acquired by Letts. In 2006, Gordon led a secondary management buyout backed by Phoenix Equity Partners and remained as group CEO.
“The stationery industry is ripe for consolidation, and I am delighted that Harolde and I have been able to acquire LFG,” says Presly. “The prospect of partnering with an industry colleague who is a ‘strategic player’ was really compelling for me. After leading the company for 13 years under private equity ownership, which has been exciting and demanding, this new ownership structure gives us a longer-term outlook and also brings fresh, long-term support for the company, its customers, suppliers and employees.”
Savoy and Presly have been associates and personal friends for many years. Savoy adds: “The first diary I ever purchased in 1984 was a Letts product, so it’s very exciting to be able to now acquire a company that I have respected my whole business life. I have known Gordon for over 10 years, and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to now work with him. I believe this deal brings great opportunities for both groups.”