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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Trufora and Genesis Group, Inc.

Trufora, brings a new standard to dermatology by providing the market with skincare products that contain ingredients proven to be effective, safe, and non-irritating, and used at levels proven to achieve a visible, clinical benefit. The company provides products that allow every woman to feel confident, inspired, and beautiful in their skin. The products are made to simplify a women’s route and life with fewer steps but more results. Their consumer skincare line is free from more than 1,300 known toxins.

Trufora’s skincare line has been a featured product for HSN, Birchbox, and Ipsy to name a few. The company has also launched a membership model allowing customers to have access to their favorite Trufora products at a discounted price.

 

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A critical element of completing this transaction was identifying and marketing to a variety of potential acquirer classes on behalf of Trufora. We were pleased to see that three very different strategies each produced at least one eager acquirer to submit an LOI to acquire Trufora. One of the buyers had a marketing background heavily tied to Amazon, one of the platforms Trufora utilizes for its products. Another buyer was from China and looking to acquire a US brand to help increase their Asian beauty empire. The third buyer, Genesis Group, was an interesting fit given, its founder, Artem Mariychin’s background in the consumer predictive analytics space. Trufora believed that the partnership with the Genesis Group was the best fit for the future of the company and is positioned to grow the company to the next level. This supports the notion that the obvious buyer or the usual suspects are often not the best prospects.

The Genesis Group was founded by Artem Mariychin with the goal to invest in opportunities that could benefit from his experience. Artem is the co-founder and CEO of Zodiac. Nike acquired Zodiac, a predictive analytics company, in 2018. While CEO of Zodiac, Artem built a company that provided retailers with a tool to predict the long-term value of each customer instantly and accurately, also known as the customer’s zCLV or Zodiac’s Customer Lifetime Value. Marketers use the zCLV to discover who their future highest value customers will be so that they can retain those valuable customers long-terms and acquire similar customers.

Prior to Zodiac, Artem worked at Goldman Sachs, Highbridge Capital, 3G Capital, and Perry Creek Capital.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Marley Drug, Inc. and Medicure Inc.

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Marley Drug, Inc. (“Marley Drug”) and Medicure Pharma Inc., the US subsidiary of Medicure Inc. (“Medicure”).

Marley Drug is a North Carolina corporation owned by Dr. David Marley and his wife, Elizabeth Marley. The company operates as a hybrid walk-in local pharmacy and a nationwide mail-order pharmacy focused on providing affordable prescription drugs. Established in 2002, the company is licensed throughout the United States, including Washington D.C., and in Puerto Rico.

Medicure is a pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of cardiovascular therapeutics for the U.S. market. Medicure Inc. is based in Winnipeg, Canada, and trades under the symbol MPH on the TSX Venture Exchange. Its subsidiaries include Medicure International, Inc. (Barbados), which owns the U.S. rights to AGGRASTAT and two U.S. corporations, Medicure USA, Inc. and Medicure Pharma, Inc., which distributes the company’s products in the United States.

Albert D. Friesen, PhD, CEO of Medicure Inc. commented regarding the deal, “The team at Benchmark International was very helpful in facilitating the Medicure Inc. acquisition of Marley Drug, Inc. Benchmark was well organized and kept the discussion and deal making on schedule for a timely closing to the original target date, for which I thank the entire Benchmark International team.”

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The acquisition enables Medicure further to expand the distribution of its products within the United States. As a manufacturer, Medicure intends to provide branded medications, as well as extremely low-cost generic medications.

Dr. Marley commented, “It’s a perfect and responsible transition for Marley Drug.” Regarding Benchmark International, Dr. Marley added, “I can’t begin to express my gratitude to Benchmark International for their role in facilitating the sale of Marley Drug. As someone with zero experience in the M&A world, they were patient with me, as well as educational and efficient. It goes without saying I simply could not have asked for a smoother transaction. In fact, I doubt I could have had a successful transaction without the Benchmark International team.”

Senior Transaction Associate Sunny Yang Garten at Benchmark International commented, “It was a pleasure to support Marley Drug in this transaction. Dr. Marley and his team were wonderful to work with. They were engaging and always responsive to diligence requests. This acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for both businesses and their teams. On behalf of Benchmark International, we wish both companies continued success.”

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Greenkey Garden & Home Ltd and Retail Equipment Limited

Benchmark International is delighted to announce the sale of Gloucestershire-based Greenkey to Suffolk-based Retail Equipment.

Established in 2003, Greenkey is a trademarked brand and is an established distributor of its own brand of garden equipment, garden décor and animal habitats. The company supplies to garden centres, DIY outlets, agricultural merchants, and online retailers nationwide.

Retail Equipment is a wholesale company selling shopfittings. The acquisition is part of the company’s buy and build strategy.

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The directors Jeremy and Emma Parkes will retire in six months allowing the opportunity for the new management to develop the business further.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Read's Uniforms and Brighton Partners Equity

Benchmark International has successfully facilitated the transaction between Read’s Uniforms and Brighton Partners Equity. Read’s Uniforms, Inc., hereinafter referred to as “Read’s”, is an omnichannel distributor of uniforms and accessories for resale to all five major uniform verticals including medical, public safety, industrial, hospitality, and education. This multi-location provider has access to key brands in all major verticals. The company has ten locations throughout Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Eric Hutzler, Owner of Read’s Uniforms, mentioned regarding the transaction, “As founders, we were very pleased with the pipeline of qualified buyers that Benchmark was able to produce. We had multiple options to choose from, each with a unique upside to consider. Ultimately, it is highly unlikely we would have found any of these opportunities on our own.”

Brighton Partners Equity hereinafter referred to as “Brighton” is a private equity firm focused on regional distribution and service companies where geographic expansion is a key driver of future growth. Brighton takes a hands-on approach, bringing objective analysis and years of small, growth-oriented company experience to each investment opportunity. They pride themselves on being good communicators; with their management teams, lenders, and limited partners.

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Read’s was a perfect fit into the current portfolio of Brighton, and an excellent platform for Brighton to expand upon based on their investment thesis. The challenges that COVID presented during this transaction were not insignificant, causing all sides to come together and develop creative financing solutions when the debt markets were retracting. This deal is a cathartic end to the Hutzler’s vision and a welcome beginning to a new partnership that is sure to thrive in the coming years.

Benchmark International’s Managing Director, Dara Shareef commented regarding the deal completion, “Benchmark International is happy to have successfully facilitated the transaction between Read’s Uniforms and Brighton Partners. Deal fatigue could have impeded this transaction at many points, but both sides remained diligent in their efforts. We certainly look forward to the prospect of working with the Hutzlers and Brighton Partners again should the opportunity present itself.”

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Benchmark International has Successfully Facilitated the Acquisition of Biggie Best (PTY) LTD to Coricraft (PTY) LTD

Benchmark International is pleased to have successfully facilitated the acquisition of Biggie Best (Pty) Ltd to Coricraft (Pty) Ltd.

Biggie Best (Pty) Ltd is an instantly recognised brand active in the wholesale and retail of exclusive home décor textiles and homeware. The wholesale operation supplies fabric by the metre to independent decorators and shop owners, as well as, textiles and homeware to a select number of independent retailers. The retail operation comprises nine outlets offering fabric, homeware, and a make-to-order service in upmarket shopping precincts in the major cities of South Africa.

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For more than 20 years, Coricraft (Pty) Ltd has been a preferred choice for exceptional value top-quality furniture. Over two decades, the brand has grown from a single store to a chain of almost 50 outlets in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. The company boasts manufacturing facilities in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, where they manufacture a range of luxury couches. Beyond this substantial manufacturing presence lies a sophisticated retail infrastructure, with Coricraft stores located across the length and breadth of South Africa.

This transaction marks a new chapter for Biggie Best (Pty) Ltd as it finds a new home alongside one of the country's fastest-growing retail brands.

Commenting on this, Andre Bresler of Benchmark Corporate South Africa said: “It is a true privilege to have had a hand in the marriage of these iconic South African brands. This is a transaction that is a testament to the fact that good assets sell regardless of perceptions around the prevailing sector performance and macro-economic conditions.”

On behalf of everyone at Benchmark International, we would like to wish both parties every success for the future.

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction of Hair Are Us, LLC To a Private Investor

Benchmark International facilitated the transaction of Hair Are Us, LLC, a Los Angeles based hair extension brand. They ship worldwide and are well-known in the industry as one of the leading hair experts of human hair extension. They specialize in various extensions, including Indian Wavy, Brazilian Curly, and Kinky Straight.

In addition to a quality product and superior brand, the company has a strong social media following with over 347,000 followers on Instagram and over 5,500 followers on both Twitter and Facebook.

Hair Are Us is a Los Angeles limited liability company established in 2011 by Ashley Williams and Khat Abdur-Rabbani. They started as a mobile business but quickly found success and grew rapidly into an online store and three locations with a fully operating warehouse. Given this success, the company engaged Benchmark International’s help in finding a partner to help take the company to the next level. With the assistance of Benchmark International, Hair Are Us found the right collaborator and agreed to bring on an equity partner in August 2019.

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Transaction Director at Benchmark International, Luis Vinals commented, “We are excited to have facilitated the sale of Hair Are Us, LLC a company that designs and retails custom hair extensions and wigs through an online portal and storefront to a private investor. The company serves both individual clients and hair salons, has a national presence within the hair care industry, and serves a number of celebrities. Understanding the intangible assets of the business, such as its social media following of over 300,000 followers was a key aspect that our team heavily focused on. This is a testament to our team’s ability to adapt and apply new innovative skillsets to the successful sale of our clients’ businesses.”

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Retail Industry Outlook

While ongoing geopolitical uncertainties could present challenges in 2019, the overall outlook for the global retail industry remains optimistic. In the world’s top retail market, the United States, retail sales are predicted to grow more than 3 percent to exceed $5.5 trillion. But for the first time ever, China is expected to outperform the U.S. in retail sales. China is forecasted to see a 7.5 percent growth in retail sales this year, reaching $5.6 trillion.

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What Do Major Mergers and Acquisitions Mean for Small Retailers?

It seems as though every other day, the headlines announce a new acquisition among major retailers. The giants in the industry are diversifying their products, sucking up more stock, and building mighty kingdoms that boutique and small business owners can’t even throw stones at. How can these smaller businesses possibly compete? First, take a look at what’s happening…

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Walmart pushes further into online retail market with new acquisition

It’s no secret that Walmart has grand plans to muscle in on some of Amazon’s online retail market share and it seems the US retail giant has edged closer with the acquisition of ModCloth.

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