Promotional tie-ins with Cruella and Maleficent, film releases from Disney.
Apps that create personalized clothing.
Not exactly what first comes to mind when thinking of sewing machines, which have been around since shortly after the founding of the U.S.
In 2018, SVP Worldwide CEO Carl-Martin Lindahl had his eyes opened when assuming his current position after leaving KitchenAid, a subsidiary of Whirlpool.
“I got to the company and they were taking out their iPhones, taking the picture of a dog, pushing a button, uploading it into a machine, and then stitching it out on a T-shirt,” Lindahl told the Reboot Chronicles podcast in August 2020.
“It was mind-boggling how far ahead this sewing machine company was compared to the large Fortune 150 company I came from.”
Platinum Equity recently acquired a controlling stake in SVP-Singer Holdings Inc.
Hearing Lindahl explain the potential for the hobby, it’s easy to see the appeal to an investor.
“The company has made impressive strides recently by investing in technology and product development and is on the cusp of a new stage of growth fueled by innovation and continued operational transformation,” Platinum Equity Managing Director Jason Price said. “The entire SVP Worldwide team has done an excellent job of refocusing the business and setting the stage for the next chapter. We fully support the investments they’ve made, and we will bring additional financial and operational resources to bear to help accelerate their efforts. ”
The announcement pointed to additional upside from technological advancements and future potential of the global sewing machine manufacturer.
The firm’s core investment thesis is grounded in a continued turnaround of the business that emphasizes continued strong business fundamentals.
SVP Worldwide accounts for more than one out of three consumer sewing machines sold through three major brands: Singer, Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff. The company’s products are sold across a network of sewing machine dealers, mass retailers, specialty shops, online retailers, distributors and the company’s 180 internally operated retail stores.
With its corporate headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., and regional headquarters and sales offices in Milan, Shanghai and Mexico City, SVP Worldwide has more than 4,000 employees and serves consumers in more than 180 countries. The company’s operations include manufacturing facilities in Asia and Latin America, multiple research and development centers, including a new state-of-the-art facility in Sweden, a software development center in the United Kingdom, and a global supply chain with distribution centers in all regions.
Lindahl told the podcast that the sewing machine market has shown growth since 2015, fueled mostly by Millennials and the shift from hand sewing to machine usage in developing countries.
SVP Worldwide Executive Chairman Stan Rosenzweig said: “Technology is making sewing more accessible to a broader demographic with new demand-driven in part by interest from a younger generation attracted to personalization, self-expression, and outlets to showcase their creativity.”
Platinum has identified near-term M&A opportunities to further strengthen SVP Worldwide’s market position and relationships.
“We have made good progress reinvigorating our product development capabilities and redoubling our commitment to our dealer and retail partners, but there is a lot more work to be done,” Lindahl said. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Platinum team, which will bring new perspectives and expertise to the table and further expand our playbook.”