NVM Private Equity (NVM) has invested £7 million in the management buy-out of Buoyant Holdings (Buoyant), a British manufacturer of upholstered furniture founded over 100 years ago. The management team will continue to work with their existing customer base to supply innovative new products which are made to a high specification, on time and at the right price. There is also the potential to increase export revenues significantly and grow the business through acquisition.
Buoyant was formed in 1909 and has a proud heritage of developing sofas and chairs for a broad range of retailers. It is now the largest independent UK furniture manufacturer currently supplying to national, independent and on-line retailers. With a 630-strong workforce, Buoyant manufactures over 95% of its products from sourced raw materials at its base in Nelson, Lancashire.
With the growing trend towards home improvement, home-owners are now updating their furniture more regularly. The living room is still considered to be the most important ‘public’ room in the house. However, upholstered furniture is permeating into other rooms as it becomes increasingly fashionable to have armchairs and sofas in kitchens and bedrooms. With a more fashion-led approach to upholstered furniture, retailers are demanding customised and ‘made to order’ products. Buoyant’s sector of the UK furniture market is currently valued at £4 billion, and over the last three years the company has seen a 70% increase in product sales.
Buoyant has developed its customer relationships from just a handful of national furniture specialists to a diverse customer portfolio; serving over 20 leading national retailers and other segments of the retail market. Furniture retailers are increasingly returning to UK manufacturers to meet a consumer demand for complex designs and styles. Buoyant is at the forefront of product innovation and will continue to increase capacity to fully support its customers’ needs. There has been an extremely positive customer response to Buoyant’s move into motion furniture, as well as the Lullaby Collection of sofa beds and Lift & Tilt ranges. In response to the popularity of handheld media devices, the company has also developed a blue tooth enabled sofa with integrated iPad docking station.
NVM Investment Directors, Andy Leach and Mauro Biagioni worked on the transaction. Andy Leach commented: “Mike and the team have worked together for over 12 years and are highly respected in the UK market. The business has developed a strong reputation in its market place and has successfully evolved to meet consumer trends, resulting in a substantial increase in sales. We are delighted to be backing a century old British manufacturing business with a strong track record and an ambitious management team.”
Mike Aramayo, Managing Director of Buoyant, has over 26 years of commercial experience in the furniture industry and is currently a board member of the British Furniture Manufacturers Association. The incumbent management team, led by Mike, are looking forward to working with NVM and its customers to bring more innovative products to market and build on the success of its growing customer base, new model development and the move into motion furniture. Mike commented: “We recognise that it is imperative to stay at the forefront of our industry by continuing to introduce new concepts and designs. Upholstered furniture is moving up the consumer spending priority, so the new funding will help us to develop our products further to meet demand in the UK and overseas. The team and I also see huge growth potential in motion furniture. We look forward to working alongside Joel and NVM to build our business further.”
Joel Rosenblatt has joined Buoyant as Executive Chairman; bringing with him extensive experience of the home textiles, upholstery and FMCG sectors. He commented: “I’m delighted to be working with two great businesses, with NVM on the financial side as well as an exceptional management team at Buoyant – both of whom are held in high regard within their industries. We have a lot of positive things we need to do and with NVM’s support the team certainly have the energy to deliver their plans.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Altium Capital, Manchester (Lead advisers): Stuart Lees, Liam May
DWF LLP, Manchester (NVM lawyers): Jonathan Robinson, Nicola Frost, Helen Mather
Grant Thornton, Leeds (Financial due diligence): Jonathan Steed
Grant Thornton, Leeds (Tax Structuring): Neil Sengupta, Fletcher Adamowicz
Armstrong Transaction Services, London (Commercial due diligence): Tom Raymond
Aon UK (Insurance due diligence): John Donald
Diligencia LLP, Danesbury and Warrington (Management due diligence): Tim Worrall
Walker Morris, Leeds (Management lawyers): John Hamer, Jo Stephenson, Ed Ainscoe
Squire Sanders, Manchester (PNC lawyers): Claire Shepherd
Eversheds, Nottingham (Vendor lawyers): Stephen Hill, Lee Harris
Catalyst Corporate Finance, Nottingham (Vendor corporate finance advisers): Keith Pickering, James Guglia, Chris Wright
Debt funding for the transaction was provided by PNC Business Credit: Mark Shackleton.
Buoyant Holdings http://www.buoyant-upholstery.co.uk/
NVM Private Equity Limited (NVM) is independently owned with over 28 years’ experience of investing in unquoted UK businesses. NVM is a generalist investor, managing £220 million of funds, and is differentiated by having executives living and working in regional business communities throughout the UK. NVM seeks investment opportunities in UK businesses which have the right mix of growth potential and market vision. They may be looking to grow organically, acquire another business or secure a management buy-out. Typically, NVM looks to invest between £2 million and £10 million in each transaction. www.nvm.co.uk