The Midland team of LDC have backed the management buyout of luggage brand Antler for an undisclosed sum.
The deal was led by Chris Hurley of the Birmingham office of LDC.
It sees the Bury-headquartered firm strengthened with the appointment of chief executive officer David Benjamin, whose experience includes senior marketing and management roles with premium consumer brands.
Antler has offices in Chicago and China and designs a range of luggage products under the Antler brand as well as Revelation, Bramble & Brown and Gracie Mae.
Around one fifth of its £40 million sales are from overseas markets, predominantly Australia, North America and northern Europe.
Terry Stannard, a non-executive director with extensive experience of private equity-backed companies and a former chief executive officer of several listed businesses has also been appointed non-executive chairman.
Following the deal, the management team plans to consolidate the brand’s position in the UK luggage market and accelerate sales in several major international markets.
These include Australia and North America - where it has already successfully penetrated the travel goods market – and the Far East and Middle East, where it sees significant opportunity for a brand with Antler’s quality and pedigree.
The business also plans to increase the marketing support for its portfolio of brands while continuing its investment in new product development.
Antler chief executive David Benjamin said: "With the backing of LDC and Lloyds TSB, a highly capable management team and a sound capital structure, we now have a fantastic opportunity to invest in our brands, continue developing our market-leading luggage range and drive retail distribution in the UK and key international markets.
"The acquisition is an excellent outcome for our dedicated employees, loyal customers and trusted partners, whose continued support we recognise and value greatly."
"This is the start of a new chapter for one of Britain’s best loved brands."
LDC Birmingham investment director Chris Hurley said: "Together, Antler’s brand recognition, product quality, multi-channel distribution model and established supply chain in the Far East creates a major opportunity to increase its penetration of the global travel goods market.
"Its resilience – having retained its market share in one of the worst climates for consumer goods in several decades and consistently delivered good underlying profits – is a clear signal of its strengths.
"Now, with the right financial headroom to execute its growth strategy, the company is well placed to take advantage of a recovery in the sector and fulfil its potential at home and overseas."
Jonathan Boyers, head of corporate finance for KPMG in the North - which managed the sale process - said: "We’re delighted to conclude a transaction which both safeguards jobs and ensures the long-term future of the Antler brand.
"From the outset, there was a high level of interest in the business, which is testament to the strength of the brand and the profile of the business."
Additional funding was provided by Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets acquisition finance.