Hyde-based Findel sold to Manutan of Paris

Leeds-based private equity firm Endless LLP said it successfully exited its investment in educational resources supplier Findel, selling the Hyde-based firm to Paris-headquartered European B2B ecommerce group Manutan.

Endless originally acquired Findel in April 2021 from Studio Retail Group plc.

Headquartered in Hyde, Greater Manchester, Findel also has a distribution centre and offices in Nottingham.

Findel’s brands and websites offer more than 32,000 products to educators and parents based in the UK and overseas, with the business exporting to 130 countries.

Findel CEO Chris Mahady said: “It’s been a remarkable three years with the Endless team, where we have transformed the business from an unloved and non-core division of a plc to the digital leader in our sector with ESG at the heart of our operations and culture.

“We’ve invested in our family of brands, giving them each a distinct identity that matches their customers wants and needs.

“We’ve invested in our operations and systems to ensure we can, and are, giving our customers the best experience we can with most orders delivered within 24 hours.

“Endless also encouraged us to be brave with our ESG commitments and we completed a refinancing with a Sustainability Linked Loan.

“This has impactful ESG-related covenants and we made further public commitments by joining the Science Based Targets Initiative.

“As a business, we had always done a lot in the communities in which we operate and we then launched the Findel Foundation as the umbrella for all of our charitable and social work supporting children and education.

“It was as a result of this sustainable, in every sense, business transformation that we were then able to attract a fantastic business like Manutan to become our new long-term owner.”

Manutan, which has a specialism in educational supplies, employs 2,200 people and operates 28 subsidiaries across 17 European countries, including the UK.

The business offers in excess of 800,000 products to its customers and has a turnover of €946 million.

Endless investment partner Andy Ross said: “It has been an absolute pleasure working closely with Chris and the entire team at Findel.

“Working with a team who cares so passionately about what they do and, importantly, how they do it, was a real privilege.

“Our role in this partnership was to provide guidance and support to the management team to help them unlock the huge latent potential in the business.

“At Endless, we are only ever a temporary custodian of a business, but I’m incredibly proud of what our teams have achieved over the last three years and look forward to see what they can do as part of the Manutan Group in the future.”

Manutan Group chairman Xavier Guichard said: “Following on from our strong growth in recent years, we’re delighted to be acquiring Findel, whose culture, focus on people, performance and shared values, is totally aligned with our own principles.

“We also share the same business model, which combines the strengths of digital technology (our e-commerce solutions) with a strong focus on sustainability, providing service excellence to customers and suppliers.”

The investment in Findel was managed by Andy Ross and David Isaacs from Endless.

Endless was advised on the sale by Rob Burden and his team at Clearwater (corporate finance) and Debbie Jackson and her team at Walker Morris (legal).

Due diligence support was provided by CIL (commercial), KPMG (financial and tax), Anthesis (ESG) and Intechnica (digital). All values relating to the acquisition are undisclosed.