Succession-Backed Sienna Sky Picks Up Lemon Tree Jewelry

August 6, 2015

Succession Capital is adding another link to portfolio company Left Hand Studios LLC.

Left Hand Studios, which does business as Sienna Sky Jewelry, acquired Lemon Tree Jewelry, a maker of eclectic earrings and necklaces. This is the first add-on acquisition for Sienna Sky since it was acquired by Succession, the subsidiary of Canadian firm Lynx Equity , in 2014.

“It’s a very unique design,” said Mathew Burpee, a Lynx Capital vice president responsible for sourcing and making acquisitions in Western Canada and the Northwest U.S. “There’s not a lot of other jewelry companies like this out there.”

“The overall jewelry industry is very competitive,” he said. “When you get into novelty or gift jewelry, it tends to be less competitive and gives you more of an opportunity to carve out your own niche in the market.”

Mr. Burpee said the Lemon Tree acquisition is “slightly smaller” than Succession’s typical target investment range. The firm typically invests $2 million to $8 million in companies with up to $2 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Other terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

While Lemon Tree targets a market similar to Sienna Sky’s, it has a much smaller distribution network, said Mr. Burpee. “The plan is to take the existing line and expand it through Sienna Sky’s distribution network,” he added.

Lemon Tree was founded by Lisa Boyd, who studied fine arts at Colorado State University , and, as a student, made jewelry to help pay for her school expenses,according to the company’s website. She launched Lemon Tree in 2003. The Longmont, Colo., company makes jewelry, including giraffe- and black bird-shaped earrings, sold in retail stores and boutiques in the U.S.

Many of Lynx’s and Succession’s deals stem from privately owned businesses in which the founder or chief executive is ready to retire or take a step back from being president to focus on other parts of the company.

Such is the case with the Lemon Tree acquisition.

Ms. Boyd plans to retire as president but is still interested in remaining with the company as a designer, said Mr. Burpee. Rather than replacing the role, Lemon Tree will be “absorbed into Sienna Sky,” with Sienna Sky’s president leading the combined operation, said Mr. Burpee. Jeanna Novy was hired as president of Sienna Sky in the fall of 2014.

In addition to buying Sienna Sky, also of Longmont, Succession last year acquired H.J. Sherman Co., a maker of religious gifts and jewelry .

Lynx Equity was founded by Brad Nathan , the firm’s president, in 2007. The Toronto firm formed Succession Capital last year to primarily invest in U.S. companies. The two firms work hand in hand on deals on both sides of the border.

Succession’s portfolio companies now make up more than 35% of the portfolio for Lynx, according to a news release.

Originally published August 06, 2015, by Lillian Rizzo