Hertfordshire-headquartered retail display specialist Displayplan,  which works with the likes of Amazon and Meta, has been acquired by a Blackstone-backed company in a deal that provides an exit for YFM Equity Partners (YFM).

YFM has achieved a 10x return for its investors from British Smaller Companies VCT funds, after the successful sale of portfolio company Displayplan to HH Global – a $2bn turnover, Blackstone-backed MarComms activation partner, which is headquartered in the UK.

Since YFM’s investment 12 years ago, Displayplan, a business that designs, delivers and manages engaging retail experiences for some of the world’s biggest brands and retailers, has undergone international expansion, grown specialist teams in design and digital consultancy and seen profits increase six-fold in the last five years despite significant market headwinds.

The award-winning company has developed a market-leading reputation for providing end-to-end display solutions that incorporate design, international procurement, manufacture, assembly and post integration monitoring.

Its varied roster of clients includes LEGO, Mars, Amazon and Meta and, as well as its Hertfordshire headquarters, the business now has offices in Shanghai, China and Chicago, USA.

As part of HH Global, the world leader in tech-enabled creative production and procurement, Displayplan’s team will have greater opportunities and access to an even wider market, enabling further expansion.

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YFM Partner Nick Holt, said: “Displayplan is an exceptional business under the outstanding stewardship of Scott Morris and Neil Campbell. We are proud to have supported the company and the management team on its growth journey over the past 12 years.

“Thanks to its strength of expertise and innovative approach, Displayplan has thrived, even set against challenges including the covid pandemic and an ever-evolving retail landscape.

“Our relationship with Displayplan encapsulates our VCT investment strategy of backing UK businesses that apply and develop innovation through their products and services. We now look forward to seeing the business expand further, under HH Global ownership.”

Scott Morris, Displayplan managing director added: “YFM has played a vital role in the success of our business. This latest phase of our journey is the culmination of a 12-year partnership, which has seen us not only benefit from the financial backing of YFM but also from its expert steer and insight.

“We now have an opportunity to reach a wider audience than ever, helping more brands and retailers and brands to get noticed, grow engagement and increase sales.”

Legal advisers to the shareholders were Shoosmiths (Dan Shilvock, Nick Little and Melissa Gray). Sell-side advisors were Crowe (Andy Coghlan, Charlie Copp and Connor Tostevin).  Tax advice was provided to Displayplan by Mazars (Ludovic Black).

YFM invests £2m to £10m into businesses with strong growth potential located across the UK through a regional network of offices in London, Leeds, Manchester, Reading and Birmingham.

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