LONDON — Smythson, the luxury stationer and leather goods label, has been acquired by Greenwill SA, the company said Thursday. Greenwill, which is reported to have acquired Smythson for 18 million pounds, or $29 million at current exchange, is the holding company for Tivoli Group, an Italian leather goods manufacturer which supplies accessories to a number of luxury labels. Smythson stated Tivoli Group’s expertise in leather goods “will enable Smythson to develop its fast-growing and expanding leather goods portfolio.”
Smythson also said Tivoli intends to invest in the company “[to] provide the financial support and stability to continue to develop the brand and the business in the long-term.”
The company’s management team — which includes chief executive officer Paddy Byng and creative director Samantha Cameron — will remain on board after the acquisition. As part of the deal, Smythson’s management team will share 1.5 percent of the transaction price as a long-term incentive.
Greenwill acquired Smythson from Kelso Place Asset Management and Venrex Investment Management, which bought the company for 16 million pounds, or $25.8 million, in 2005. Later that year, Byng, a former Dunhill executive, joined the company as ceo. In 2006, Byng said he planned to expand the label’s retail presence by opening up to 30 boutiques worldwide by 2010. Since that time, the company’s retail expansion has been less aggressive, with Smythson’s total number of units growing from nine to 15. The company has two stores in the U.S., one in Hong Kong and 12 in the U.K..
The firm, which is primarily known for its high-end stationery, has been working to broaden its offering for more than a decade. Cameron, the wife of British Conservative Party leader David Cameron, initially joined the brand in the Nineties to introduce handbags and accessories, but the category never caught on with Smythson’s core clientele and was gradually downplayed as the brand went through different ownerships and management teams. Handbags and leather goods were relaunched in 2003 and have since been more successful. Previous owners of Smythson — founded by Frank Smythson in 1887 and holding three royal warrants — include entrepreneur Ray Cork, who sold the company to Kelso Place and Venrex, and John Menzies, a Scottish newspaper distribution and aviation company, which acquired Smythson in 1959.
Since Kelso and Venrex’s acquisition, the company has seen its turnover rise by 59 percent, and has forecast sales of 18 million pounds, or $29 million, for the fiscal year to March 2010. Smythson said Thursday that sales for the first eight-and-a-half months of the 2010 fiscal year are up 7 percent compared with the same period last year. According to accounts filed earlier this year at London’s Companies House, Smythson recorded sales of 15.9 million pounds, or $25.6 million, for the fiscal year to March 2008, a rise of 9.5 percent compared with the previous year.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty