William Penn, an Indian premium writing instruments and lifestyle accessories company, has acquired Sheaffer, the 110-year-old iconic American manufacturer of writing instruments, particularly known for its luxury fountain pens.
William Penn will fund the deal through a mix of internal accruals and debt. It did not disclose the financial terms. “At William Penn, we see the current acquisition as a remarkable opportunity to further build on the preferences and tastes of Indian customers. The American brand enjoys a 15% market share in the premium writing instruments (pens above $10) segment in India,” William Penn managing director Nikhil Ranjan said.
William Penn will be taking over Sheaffer’s manufacturing, marketing and retailing in 75 countries including the US, UK, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa, Japan and India. The acquisition of Sheaffer from AT Cross Company comprises the brand’s complete product portfolio and licences, including premium pens, journals and gift sets. The company is expecting 30% growth in year-on-year revenue after this acquisition.
“The writing instrument market is pegged around ₹4,000 crore with the premium and luxury segment having only 10% market share,” said Ranjan. “We may look at setting up a manufacturing unit in the country for Sheaffer too in the coming years. We hope to double this market share and plan to make India the No. 1 market for Sheaffer in the next three years,” said Ranjan.
In 2016, the company acquired the British brand Lapis Bard and expanded its product range from fine writing instruments to leather bags, wallets, cufflinks, watch chests and pen cases.
The Bengaluru-based company has been instrumental in bringing international brands such as Montblanc, Cross, Sheaffer, Pelikan and Sailor to India.
William Penn has 25 stores in India, including retail outlets at key airports, and has plans to double the number over the next three years.