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Board structure changes are part of party firm’s growth plans

CHIEF executive Gary Panons is to become the first executive chairman at party products and supplies company Amscan International.

The move is the next stage in the company’s development following a management buy-out in January last year and two major acquisitions.

Mr Panons will be succeeded as chief executive by Amscan’s current chief financial officer and chief operating officer Joe Hennigan. The changes take place from this month.

Amscan, whose headquarters are at Brinklow in Milton Keynes, is the world’s largest designer, manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler and retailer of party products and supplies. It has a turnover of more than £250 million and employs around 2,500 people worldwide, 350 of whom are based in the UK. Amscan’s brands include UK online party supplies retailer Party Delights and Ginger Ray. 

Mr Panons said: “There are hugely exciting times ahead for Amscan International with further organic growth and acquisitions. We have incredibly supportive investors and partners in Endless, a great leadership team and a wealth of experience and energy across all areas of our business.”

Mr Panons joined Amscan International in 2011 when the company he was managing director of, Christy’s by Design, was acquired by the business.

Before arriving at Amscan International in 2016, Mr Hennigan spent 12 years working for business advisory firm PwC in the UK and US. He joined Amscan International as chief financial officer before also becoming chief operating officer in 2019.

Current group finance director Rob Sidell becomes Amscan’s chief financial officer. He joined the business in October from the international bathroom and kitchen product supplier Norcros.

Mr Hennigan said: “We have an exceptional team at Amscan International and we are all excited for what the future holds as we further expand the business. We have a clear strategic growth plan and the funds available to make additional investments to accelerate the plan.”

The Amscan MBO was supported by Leeds-headquartered private equity firm Endless. Two significant acquisitions followed, of Germany-based foil balloon printing technology business Luftballon-Markt in August and Ginger Ray in October.

Mr Panons said: “Part of any evolution is growing, developing and harnessing positive change. These changes to our board structure are entirely right for the stage and future success of our business.”

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