The Pebble Group

the-pebble-group

The Pebble Group

The Pebble Group

Sector: Business Goods

Status: Realised

Fund: II

Deal type: Management buyout

Investment date: May 2017

Realisation date: December 2019

We helped promotional products provider Pebble Group – then Brand Addition – seize attractive opportunities to broaden its services and geographies, organically and through acquisitions.

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The Pebble Group

Pebble quote image

“With Elysian we found a partner who could help us to continue the business’ growth, both UK and international. Elysian’s strong and consistent interest in the business and added value operating partner approach were very appealing and enabled the continuation of our growth.” 

Chris Lee

Chief Executive, The Pebble Group

The Pebble Group

Pebble investment rationale

Investment rationale

The Manchester-based business was already a leading provider in the design, sourcing and distribution of promotional merchandise to global corporates when we acquired it in 2017.

Its offer included hosted web shops, which could be standalone or integrated with clients’ intranets and e-procurement systems for a complete end to end service.

Brand Addition had a strong track record, impressive management team and the opportunity to win a share in a fragmented market.

There were few competitors that could match Brand Addition’s global footprint and client service proposition. It had offices in the UK, US, Germany, Turkey, Russia and China.

Creating value

During our investment, the business significantly improved technology and operational efficiency, and its overall sales pipeline management.

We supported the company’s acquisitions, culminating in its December 2018 bolt-on of Facilisgroup, a provider of subscription-based services to promotional product distributors in the US and Canada.

Through its @ease proprietary software, Facilisgroup offers an enterprise resource planning platform that enables its network of partners to improve order management, customer relationship management and sales analysis and reporting. It also offers access to favourable terms with preferred suppliers.

As a result of the acquisition, the now technology-driven company rebranded as The Pebble Group, retaining the strong Facilis and Brand Addition brands and allowing them to focus on their respective specialist corners of the market.

The Pebble Group was admitted to the London Stock Exchange’s AIM in December 2019 with the initial public offering valuing the business at £176m. On the sale of our final shares, the investment gave us a 4.7x return.

Under our ownership:

  • The Pebble Group had grown to annual sales of £107m and adjusted EBITDA of £15.2m.
  • Brand Addition, with revenue of £98m, distributed to more than 150 countries and had 23 clients spending more than £1m per year.
  • Facilis had 149 small to medium-sized promotional product distributors and more than 100 preferred suppliers, making it the largest buying group of promotional goods in North America.
  • Total partner sales processed through the @ease SaaS platform stood at $801m.
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