Highlander Buys SFERRA from LLCP

Highlander Partners has acquired SFERRA Fine Linens, a luxury linens and home lifestyle company, from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP) which invested in the company in August 2013.

SFERRA’s product portfolio includes more than ten different categories, including bed, bath, table, and decorative accessories.  The company sells its products through a variety of channels including home specialty boutiques, luxury department stores (Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman), select hospitality properties, and online through its website. The company was founded in 1891 by Gennaro Sferra and today is headquartered in Edison, NJ (www.SFERRA.com).

“The SFERRA investment has been very successful for LLCP, our partners and for the company’s management team,” said Lauren Leichtman, CEO of LLCP. “We are proud to have enhanced the value of SFERRA through various avenues including introducing new products, adding new customers and elevating SFERRA’s quality and service. We are very excited for the future of SFERRA and we wish the management team continued success.”

LLCP, which invests in middle market companies located in the United States and Europe, is based in Beverly Hills with offices in Chicago, Dallas, New York, London and The Hague (www.llcp.com).

Under Highlander ownership, Michelle Klein will continue in her role as CEO and President of the company. Mark Blanchat, a Partner at Highlander, has been named as the Chairman of SFERRA.

“This acquisition reiterates Highlander’s focus on investing in high-quality, branded consumer products companies and represents an opportunity for us to acquire an established luxury brand with a loyal consumer following due to its highly differentiated product offerings and superior quality,” said Mr. Blanchat. “Luxury bedding has proven to be a stable segment of the market and is expected to continue growing over the foreseeable future as consumers correlate a better sleep experience to achieving improved health. There are tremendous growth opportunities for this business driven by strategic brand and product extensions designed to further increase awareness, along with continued growth in new and existing channels.  We believe Michelle and her team are the ideal partners to take SFERRA to the next level.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with SFERRA management in this transaction,” said Jeff Hull, President and Managing Partner of Highlander. “All of us believe SFERRA has the potential to become the leading luxury linens provider globally, reaching into adjacent untapped home-goods categories.  We are looking forward to implementing a selective “buy-and-build” investment approach and finding complementary M&A opportunities for this business in the luxury goods category.”

Highlander makes investments in middle market businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience. Sectors of interest include manufacturing, consumer products, industrial goods, automotive accessories, packaging, food and beverage, and specialty chemicals. The firm has over $2 billion in assets under management and is based in Dallas (www.highlander-partners.com).

“We are excited about the new partnership with Highlander and will benefit from their resources and expertise in brand building,” said Ms. Klein. “SFERRA currently has outstanding consumer awareness, and we are well positioned to continue our historical success. We’re looking forward to partnering with Highlander to help accelerate growth across the US and internationally.  Our team at SFERRA is eager to get started on our robust pipeline of new opportunities.”

Lazard Middle Market was the financial advisor to SFERRA. Senior debt was provided by Regions Bank and Fifth Third Bank and mezzanine debt was provided by Norwest Mezzanine Partners.

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | October 10, 2018

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