Wicks Capital Partners Acquires Artistic Studios

Wicks Capital Partners Acquires Artistic Studios

Artistic Studios NF1Bendon, a portfolio company of Wicks Capital Partners, has acquired Artistic Studios, Ltd. The acquisition provides an entry into the premium craft market and adds to Bendon’s position as a leader in the US children’s coloring and activity sector.

Artistic Studios produces and sells children’s activity products, art sets, and crafts in various retail channels, with a strong distribution presence in the wholesale club channel. The company is based in San Francisco (www.artistic-studios.com).

daniel black nf1“The acquisition of Artistic Studios represents an exciting opportunity to expand Bendon’s product offerings, distribution, scale, and geographic reach,” said Daniel Black, Managing Partner at Wicks. “The Bendon team has done an excellent job securing industry-leading retail presence including a stronghold in the value segment of the market. Along with our purchase of Dalmatian in 2013, this acquisition firmly cements Bendon’s position as a leader in the fragmented US children’s activity products sector and propels the company into its next phase of growth.”

Bendon is a designer and producer of children’s coloring and activity products.  The company utilizes a licensed portfolio of the world’s most popular children’s characters and brands.  Bendon sells more than 350 million units per year in more than 80,000 retail outlets in North America. The company is based in Ashland, OH (www.bendoninc.com).

“We have closely followed the Artistic Studios business over the past few years and have been impressed with its product portfolio and distribution footprint both domestically and abroad. As we continue to grow, this acquisition provides a natural upmarket extension into the adjacent craft and activity segment,” said Ben Ferguson, CEO of Bendon.  “Artistic Studios’ complementary products and distribution network immediately give us significant opportunities to expand our reach with new retailers and within new departments of existing retailers as well as to grow our international presence.”

Wicks Capital Partners invests in lower-middle-market companies operating in select segments of the information, education and media industries principally in the United States and Canada.  Sectors of specific interest include educational content and services, business services and information, consumer information, healthcare information, radio and television broadcasting, and other media. The firm was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in New York (www.wicksgroup.com).

2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 8-7-14

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