December 3rd, 2010
Bosses at a Bingley-based market-leading textile distributor are confident of further expansion, including acquisitions, following a £3 million investment in the business by a leading entrepreneur.
Stephen Fearnley, co-founder of the Poundstretcher retail chain, has taken a minority stake in the £16 million- turnover doormat and textiles distributor Primeur, of which he has become chairman.
The investment will help Primeur, the UK’s leading supplier of domestic doormats, to grow its market share further and develop new products.
The Bingley-based distributor employs 65 staff and operates from a 62,000 sq ft warehouse. Its product range also includes rugs, cushions, bathroom textiles and beanbags.
The firm has long standing relationships with the majority of the UK’s major DIY, supermarket, departmental and discount retailers, supplying customers including B&Q, Asda, Tesco, Wilkinsons, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis.
Founded in 1968, Primeur was owned by joint managing directors Barry Minal and James Keighley, who have sold a minority stake to Mr Fearnley.
The deal, led by Leeds corporate finance boutique Ethos, puts £3.1 million of new funding into the business and includes investment by Mr Fearnley and the existing directors.
RBS facilities have been replaced by a new £2.7 million asset-based lending facility, with Leumi ABL providing a £1.5 million invoice discounting line and a further £1.2 million from Bank Leumi (UK).
Mr Fearnley said: “Primeur is a great business and a market leader that has the opportunity to take advantage of its strong customer base, buying power and distribution advantages in order to grow, and that is exactly what we plan to do over the coming years.
“Ethos brought the proposition to me as I have experience of the sector, and we now have a solid foundation from which to move forward both organically and through acquisition.”
Primeur joint managing director Barry Minal said: “We were looking for a way to build on our past success and take Primeur forward with renewed resources and direction. The business required more realistic working capital facilities and some new expertise.”
Chris Silverwood, managing director of Ethos Corporate Finance, said: “This shows that there are deals to be done and funding to be secured in Yorkshire, but the dynamics of the market are completely different from a few years ago. Some banks are trying to get out of businesses due to nothing more than internal pressure to contract and it can be challenging to find viable alternative funding or investment,”
Leumi ABL regional sales manager, John Walsh, added: “We’re very proud to be supporting local Yorkshire businesses and will continue to work closely with the Yorkshire dealmaking community to assist the working capital requirements of businesses that are looking to move forward in such uncertain times.”
Source: Telegraph & Argus