MBO at Furniture Making Giant

A £132m-turnover manufacturer and wholesaler of furniture, which supplies the likes of Next and John Lewis, has been acquired in a private equity-backed management buyout (MBO).

Belfield Furnishings, which was formed in 2002 and is headquartered in Ilkeston, is one of the UK’s largest white label manufacturers of home furnishings.

The MBO was backed by NorthEdge Capital, a private equity house which focuses its investments on companies operating in the North of England.

The buyout, in which NorthEdge has acquired a majority stake in the business, was led by partner John Rastrick and investment director Tom Rowley. Belfield will use the cash injection to cut lead times for customers and bolster production.

The business will continue to be led by chief executive Steve Hampton and chief financial officer Karl Stevens. Alan McWalter, a former Marks & Spencer director, will remain as chairman while Don Coates has joined as chief operating officer.

Rastrick said: “Belfield is the largest white label manufacturer of home furnishings in the UK with an impressive customer base ranging from British high street names and national blue chip brands to high growth online retailers.

“We have been impressed with the ability of the management team to manufacture in high volumes such a broad range of quality products. It is down to their design expertise and operational efficiency that the business has achieved such a strong offering in a sizeable and highly fragmented market.

“Our focus will be on helping Belfield to grow sales with existing customers, as well as targeting new opportunities and we are looking forward to working with Steve and the management team.”

Hampton added: “The business has performed well over the past few years. The funding from NorthEdge will allow us to increase the production of our quality products whilst also maintaining the same high levels of customer service.

“NorthEdge has an excellent reputation for growing and supporting businesses to achieve their strategic goals and we look forward to working with them through the next phase of Belfield’s development.”

Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank provided debt and working capital facilities for the MBO, while KPMG, PwC Legal and Credo advised NorthEdge.

The vendors and management team was advised by Catalyst Corporate Finance, Browne Jacobson and EY.