Teaching Art Limited – the Newark-based arts materials supplier which runs a well-known membership club for artists – has made its first acquisition following a £4m investment from PHD Equity Partners and Praetura Commercial Finance two months ago.
The company has acquired ArtGallery (UK) Ltd, an online gallery operator which is based in Tetbury, Gloucestershire and which allows artists to sell their work to buyers worldwide via its website artgallery.co.uk. It plans to integrate the gallery business into its existing operation to enhance the services it offers to members of its club, the SAA.
Teaching Art supplies arts and crafts products to consumers and the retail trade. Its club, the SAA, is now the world’s largest art community with 43,000 members who have their own exhibitions, awards and events and benefit from discounts on products.
Andy Dodd and Craig Richardson of PHD Equity Partners, who led the recent investment into the company, worked with management on the acquisition of artgallery.co.uk.
Andy Dodd said: “This acquisition is the first step in Teaching Art’s growth plans, and follows on very quickly from our recent investment. We see huge potential for the company to expand the services of the SAA, develop new products and services and grow its sales in Europe and beyond. We look forward to working with the management during this exciting phase of expansion.”
Carl Gamble, who joined recently as Managing Director to spearhead the company’s growth, said: “Artgallery.co.uk is one of the leading online gallery operators and will provide SAA members with a new channel to sell their work internationally. It is all part of our mission to ‘Inform, Encourage and Inspire’ artists across the UK and further afield.”
Artgallery.co.uk was established in 2005 and is run by husband and wife team Aileen and Mike Mitchell, who are planning to retire from the business.
PHD Equity Partners invested in the business is the private equity arm of Dow Schofield Watts.
Ian Riggs and Sean Lightfoot of Hill Dickinson provided legal advice to Teaching Art Holdings Ltd and PHD Equity Partners