Oh, The Places We’ll Go!
2022 was a big year for us. We celebrated our 20th anniversary and introduced several new lines and collaborations. We also did one more thing…
On 4th July 2022, William Penn acquired Sheaffer.
Before we began, the only way to get hands on a Sheaffer was to travel. When the company was established back in 2002, our founder was determined that Sheaffer would be one of the first brands on our shelves. In 2003, we became its exclusive distributor in India and over the next two decades we helped establish a robust national market for the brand.
During that time, William Penn evolved into a premier gifting company with a well-curated range of high-end pens, niche tech, luxury leather bags, lifestyle accessories and more. We founded our own in-house line (Pennline) focused on developing innovative writing products and accessories, acquired the English company Lapis Bard and expanded that brand’s portfolio to luxury leather goods and lifestyle accessories. Our portfolio grew to over 40 premium brands and we explored new avenues like movie partnerships and exclusive collaborations. Our success in these ventures only whetted our appetite to grow.
We are synonymous with luxury pens, so it’s unsurprising that when we decided to play a larger part on the global stage, we looked to the fine writing industry. The global market for luxury writing instruments is growing. A Straits Research report pegged at $2,290 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $3,800 million by 2030.
The Sheaffer Pen Company has been a leader in the fine writing industry and an American icon for over a century. Founded in 1913, it is a multinational corporation whose fine writing instruments have delighted generations for over a hundred years. Known for their iconic pens and the legendary White Dot – a symbol of quality, prestige and performance, Sheaffer products are sold in over 70 countries across the globe.
For much of its history, Sheaffer has been a star performer. Widely recognised as an innovative company with iconic designs, the American brand has had a close relationship with many US presidents and is a household name in many parts of the world. However, for some time now, fans of the brand have had to contend with supply chain disruptions and a noticeable decrease in new product lines.
Our long-time collaboration has allowed us to really study the brand and understand its processes, strengths, and weaknesses. When the opportunity to acquire it rose, we grabbed it.
A day we will never forget
The due diligence was done, the paperwork completed. On the 4th of July, we were entrusted with one of the biggest names in the writing industry.
It was a beautiful day and both Nikhil Ranjan, the founder of William Penn, and James Miranda, the Chief Executive Officer of the A.T. Cross Company, (the erstwhile custodian of Sheaffer), were in attendance.
During the signing ceremony Mr Miranda remarked “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.”
As the event drew to a close, Mr Ranjan promised to respect and uphold the brand’s legacy. His dreams of a bright future for both Sheaffer and William Penn were clear as he noted “The Sheaffer brand is a natural fit for us and we are very excited about this acquisition. In William Penn’s 20th year, we gained one hundred and ten years of history.”
The Penn Plan
Right now, we are concentrating on fountain pens and the new products will draw inspiration from past collections and the brand’s 110-year-old legacy. Sheaffer is famous for its inlaid nibs and iconic designs, and the company intends to draw on the brand’s heritage to add those special details that it is known and appreciated for.
In addition to strengthening relationships in all the countries Sheaffer is currently distributed in, William Penn is also exploring new markets as we look forward to writing the next exciting chapter together.