William Penn, India’s leading brand for premium writing instruments and lifestyle accessories, has acquired Sheaffer, the 110-year-old iconic American manufacturing company of writing instruments, particularly known for their luxury fountain pens, for an undisclosed amount.
This is touted to be one of the biggest acquisitions in the premium writing instrument industry, which is pegged at around Rs 450 crore in India.
William Penn will be taking over Sheaffer’s manufacturing, marketing and retailing across 75 countries including USA, UK, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa, Japan and India among others. The acquisition from A.T. Cross Company comprises the brand’s complete product portfolio and licenses, including premium pens, journals and gift sets, the company said in a statement.
“At William Penn, we see the current acquisition as a remarkable opportunity to further build on the preferences and tastes of Indian customers, while also factoring in global needs during the product development of new Sheaffer models and lines. The American brand enjoys a 15% market share in the premium writing instruments (pens above $10) segment in India. We hope to double this market share and plan to make India the No.1 market for Sheaffer in the next 3 years. As a global player, we look forward to changing the rules of the game,” said Nikhil Ranjan, founder & MD, William Penn speaking on the milestone.
The company is expecting a 30% YoY growth, post this acquisition.
“Sheaffer is a brand founded on the spirit of innovation and creativity. We are extremely proud of the demand we have generated for Sheaffer products since acquiring the brand in 2014, not only among loyal Sheaffer fans but among new users alike. William Penn is in a key position to now take the reins and continue Sheaffer’s growth and expand its global presence,” said James Miranda, chief executive officer of the A.T. Cross Company, the erstwhile owners of Sheaffer.
Founded by Nikhil Ranjan in 2002, William Penn began as a quest to bring the fine writing instruments of the world to India and help bridge the gap between brands and their customers. It was the first Indian brand to organise fine writing by bringing the big global brands under one roof.
The Bengaluru-based company has been instrumental in bringing some of the most renowned international brands, such as Montblanc, Cross, Sheaffer, Pelikan and Sailor, to name a few, under one roof, for the Indian customer.
In 2016, the company acquired the British brand Lapis Bard and expanded its product range from fine writing instruments to product offerings of high quality and luxurious designs such as artfully crafted leather bags, sleek wallets, elegant cufflinks, watch chests and pen cases among others.
Currently, William Penn has 25 stores across India, including retail outlets at key airports.