India’s William Penn acquires America’s iconic Sheaffer


India’s leading brand for premium writing instruments and lifestyle accessories, William Penn Private Limited has taken over the Sheaffer, a 110-year-old iconic American company, renown for its range of luxury fountain pens.

Nikhil Ranjan, founder and managing director of William Penn said in a post on LinkedIn said: “The word is out and I’d like to confirm that yes, Sheaffer is now a part of William Penn (P) Ltd. I’ve been a Sheaffer fan from the get-go and this acquisition is a dream come true. The brand means so much to millions around the world; my team and I are determined to protect its legacy and help it grow to new heights. In William Penn’s 20th year, we gained 110 years of history and I’m truly grateful for all the new opportunities that now lie ahead. I’d like to say thank you to my team, our well-wishers and to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen.”

The acquisition is being termed as one of the biggest in the Rs 450 crore premium writing instrument industry in India. Now, William Penn will take over Sheaffer’s business which includes the premium brand’s product portfolio, licenses, pens, journals and gift sets. Bangalore-based William Penn will also take over Sheaffer’s manufacturing, marketing and retailing in 75 countries including USA, India, UK, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa and Japan.

James Miranda, Chief Executive Officer of the A.T. Cross Company, the erstwhile owners of Sheaffer said, “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.”

Ranjan added, “This is a proud moment for us. We are excited to embark on this new phase of growth with an iconic American brand. I remember those days when I was starting William Penn. Our vision was to provide our customers with a world-class experience in a category, hitherto unavailable in India. Working with a formidable global player like Sheaffer was a distant dream then. Years of hard work, passion and commitment to excellence has helped us achieve many milestones during our journey in the last twenty years. Today, it gives me immense pride to say that we are one of the key global players in the writing instrument space.”

“At William Penn, we see the current acquisition as a remarkable opportunity to further build on the preferences and tastes of Indian customers, while also factoring in global needs during the product development of new Sheaffer models and lines. The American brand enjoys a 15% market share in the premium writing instruments (pens above $10) segment in India. We hope to double this market share and plan to make India the No.1 market for Sheaffer in the next 3 years. As a global player, we look forward to changing the rules of the game,” added Ranjan.”

William Penn was set up in 2002 as a quest to bring the fine writing instruments of the world to India. The company was named after the eponymous founder of Pennsylvania. A man of keen intelligence, he was a staunch advocate of religious toleration and a prolific writer. With connections to both American and European history, the name made sense for a company that wanted to bring the iconic writing instrument brands of the West home to India. The company celebrated its 20th anniversary on January 11 this year.

The company acquired British Lapis Bard in 2016 and then proceeded to expand its product range from pens to high-quality leather bags, wallets and cufflinks. William Penn now has 25 stores in India.