International Dance Supplies

Deal summary

Alantra advised the shareholders of International Dance Supplies (IDS) on its sale to Audax Private Equity backed Revolution Dancewear, based in the US. The acquisition is Revolution’s first acquisition since it was acquired by Audax in June 2018. Audax is a mid-market private equity house focused on buy & build opportunities with offices in Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Audax recently held the final close of Fund VI at $3.5 billion.

IDS is a UK-based marketer of B2B recital costumes, speciality dancewear and footwear primarily to dance teachers and studios in the UK and Europe. First Position Dancewear is IDS’s direct-to-consumer brand which also retails ballroom and gym wear. Revolution Dancewear is a leading brand and seller of recital costumes and dancewear in the US, UK and Europe.  It also owns Dance Direct, which is Revolution’s UK platform selling dancewear direct to consumers. The acquisition of IDS strengthens Revolution’s position in the costume segment of the market to teachers and dance studios and expands Dance Direct’s operating footprint across Europe. 

What difference did we make?

Alantra were appointed to advise the shareholders of IDS on the sale of the business. We used our international reach to undertake a review of potential acquirers on a global basis and also carried out a valuation exercise. Revolution was the obvious acquirer as Audax’s strategy was buy and build and they needed to strengthen their presence in Europe. Our advice was to engage with Revolution on a bi-lateral basis and to encourage them to pay a strategic price to pre-empt a full auction process for the business.

Despite only engaging with one buyer, we maintained competitive tension throughout our engagement by continuing to prepare for a wider auction process and in doing so, delivered a great result for our client whilst providing Revolution with a strategically compelling platform for European expansion. This acquisition is a great example of how an impending Brexit is no barrier to expansion into the UK and how high quality British businesses will continue to attract the attention of international acquirers and investors regardless of the political backdrop.

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