Sep 21, 2015

Blackstone to Acquire Ideal Shopping Direct

21 September 2015, London. Private equity funds managed by Blackstone announce the acquisition of Ideal Shopping Direct (“ISD”), a leading independent multi-channel retailer, from Inflexion.

ISD operates live and pre-recorded channels across all the major UK TV platforms; Sky, Freeview, Virgin Media and Freesat as well as multiple internet sites. Its two principal divisions are Create & Craft and Ideal World.  ISD delivers a dynamic shopping experience selling specialty craft products to dedicated crafting hobbyists as well as home, leisure, health, beauty and fashion products. Create & Craft is the only dedicated channel to sell specialist craft products and operates 15 hours a day.  

Headquartered in Peterborough in the UK and with a growing operation in the US, the company has over 800 employees and, through its TV networks, reaches over 26 million homes. The experienced management team will continue to be led by Mike Hancox, Chief Executive since 2008. Gerry Murphy, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone and former CEO of both Kingfisher and Carlton Communications (ITV), will become Chairman.

The transaction is expected to close later this year and is subject to usual closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Gerry Murphy, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said: "ISD has succeeded by delivering a varied and exciting range of exclusive products and a great shopping experience to its loyal home shoppers through its websites and mobile platforms. We look forward to working with Mike and his team to capitalise on growth opportunities in omni-channel retailing in the UK and the US."

Mike Hancox, Chief Executive Officer, ISD added: “We see our future collaboration with Blackstone as a new development opportunity for ISD, from both a geographical and operational stand point. ISD will benefit from Blackstone’s international experience and expertise and from new investment as we enter this next phase of growth."

Duff & Phelps acted as advisors to Blackstone.

About Blackstone
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms.  We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies in which we invest, and the communities in which we work.  We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems.  Our asset management businesses, with over $330 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets, and secondary funds, all on a global basis.  Blackstone also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory, and fund placement services. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow us on Twitter @Blackstone.

For more information, please contact:
Andrew Dowler/Rebecca Flower
Blackstone                                                                             
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