Stationery veterans buy Letts Filofax

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LETTS Filofax, the paper-based stationery products firm based in Dalkeith, has been acquired by HSGP Investments, a company owned by Letts chief executive Gordon Presly and Canadian entrepreneur Harolde Savoy.

HSGP has acquired all the share capital of FLB Group, the holding company which owns all the assets within the Letts and Filofax businesses, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal secures 280 jobs in Midlothian.

New three-year working capital facilities of up to £15 million a year have been provided by PNC Financial Services UK.

Savoy lives in Dallas, Texas, and his family owns the North American stationery supplier Blueline/Rediform Group.

Presly was appointed chief executive of Letts in 1998, and of Letts Filofax in 2001 when Filofax was acquired by Letts. In 2006, he led a secondary management buyout backed by Phoenix Equity Partners and remained as group chief executive.

The two stationery industry veterans have been associates and friends for more than ten years.

Savoy said: “The first diary I purchased in 1984 was a Letts product, so it’s very exciting to be able to now acquire a company that I have respected my whole business life. I have known Gordon for over ten years and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to now work with him.”

Presly added: “The stationery industry is ripe for consolidation and I am delighted that Harolde and I have been able to acquire Letts Filofax. The prospect of partnering with an industry colleague who is a ‘strategic player’ was really compelling for me.

“After leading the company for 13 years under private equity ownership, which has been exciting and demanding, this new ownership structure gives us a longer-term outlook and also brings fresh long-term support for the company, its customers, suppliers and employees.”