Branford Castle buys Handi Quilter

Branford Castle Partners has acquired Handi Quilter, a maker of longarm quilting machines, products and associated software, from Premier Needle Arts.

Branford Castle Partners has acquired Handi Quilter, a maker of longarm quilting machines, products and associated software, from Premier Needle Arts. No financial terms were dislosed.

PRESS RELEASE

New York, June 6, 2022 – Branford Castle Partners, the New York City-based private equity firm, today announced that its affiliate Branford Castle Partners II, L.P. has acquired Handi Quilter, the world’s leading manufacturer and designer of longarm quilting machines, products and associated software, from Premier Needle Arts, a platform of leading brands in consumable crafts that are sold primarily direct-to-consumers. Handi Quilter is the third platform acquisition for Branford’s second fund which was closed in 2021. As a result of the investment, roughly 30% of Fund II has been allocated.

Branford Castle Partners I, L.P. which closed in 2016 and has completed its platform investing, is a top quartile fund for its vintage year, as measured by Preqin, with Gross IRR’s of 47% and Net of 30%.

Based in North Salt Lake, UT, Handi Quilter has been providing leading consumer-friendly technology and feature-rich machines and products to the quilting market for 25 years. Dedicated to designing, educating and inspiring the more than 15 million quilting enthusiasts worldwide, Handi Quilter is recognized for its world-class education and high-touch consumer engagement in support of its simple-to-use, feature-rich longarm quilting machines. Handi Quilter machines and technology can be found in more than 1,000 worldwide locations and strengthens the quilting industry by utilizing and partnering with local independent retailers throughout North America, key international distributors worldwide and OEM partners. Handi Quilter’s diverse product portfolio is focused on the passionate, dedicated quilt maker, with the company providing industry leading support through a vibrant e-commerce platform, hundreds of local consumer events annually, and also through sponsoring and participating at national and international consumer shows, including providing machines for educational classrooms.

Branford has teamed up with existing Hand Quilter Management, including CEO Mark Hyland and President & COO Darren Denning, who will be investing in the transaction as well.

“We are excited to partner with Mark, Darren and the Handi Quilter leadership team, honoring the joy and passion of quilting across the globe. The Company’s position as the leader in the longarm quilting market, along with their customer-oriented focus and approach, make it an exceptional platform for continued growth,” said Branford Castle Vice President Ceon Francis.

“It is important to find financial partners who have the same core values as Handi Quilter,” said Darren Denning. “Branford Castle aligns in every way with the Handi Quilter values and will continue to support and provide resources as Handi Quilter continues its growth in the coming years.”
Mark Hyland further said, “Every day our team is focused on listening to and working with passionate makers from around the world. This allows us to live up to our founder’s philosophy — “designed by quilters for quilters.”

Handi Quilter supports its local retail partners to provide world class education, best of class products, and feature-rich technologies for all quilt makers. Having a partner in Branford Castle that understands the passionate enthusiast market is critical. We are excited for the next stage of the Handi Quilter journey.”

Branford Castle was advised by its legal counsel, Akerman LLP. Handi Quilter was advised on the sell-side by Stifel Nicolaus. Apogem Capital is providing senior debt financing and Siguler Guff & Company, LP is providing mezzanine debt financing for the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Branford Castle Partners (http://www.branfordcastle.com/)
Branford Castle is a private market investor focusing on lower-middle-market investments, with a more than 30+ year history of helping to grow businesses. The firm typically makes control investments in companies with less than $15 million of EBITDA and a leadership position in a niche industry. Branford is particularly keen on the strong relationships it develops with its portfolio company managers. Branford has particular expertise in industrials/specialty manufacturing, consumer products, business services and logistics.