Contract furniture maker secures seven-figure MBO

Lytham based specialist contract furniture manufacturing business Barons has undergone a seven-figure management buyout, led by Managing Director Garry Smith, with investment from River Capital and Arbuthnot.

The combined funding package will also support the continued growth of the business. The transaction follows a period of strong growth, and is the first investment from the newly launched River Capital North West Private Equity Fund. 

Having recently celebrated its 50th year in business, Barons has built a strong reputation for producing quality furniture to the highest standards and distributes nationwide to a customer base that includes a portfolio of care homes, senior living, challenging behaviour and other care facilities. 

Alongside Garry Smith, the board has been bolstered by the introduction of two experienced Non Executive Directors, Gary Lasham and David Meltham, both of whom have a wealth of experience in the industry and growth businesses. 

Speaking on the acquisition, Managing Director Garry Smith said: “Having helped drive the success of Barons over the past nine years, I am excited by the future prospects for the business and the backing now in place to help deliver that potential.  I would like to thank all our customers, suppliers, and employees for their support throughout the years of the previous owners stewardship and look forward to working with all stakeholders in the exciting times ahead.  

“I am delighted to welcome Gary Lasham and David Meltham to the business, and it’s been a pleasure to work with Brabners Deal Advisory, River Capital and Arbuthnot to secure the transaction. Our key objectives are to continue to grow and develop new product ranges to support our core business and to increase capacity to enhance lead times and service levels.”  

Jonathan Newton, Investment Manager and Mark Borzomato, CEO led the deal from a River Capital perspective with Mark commenting: “Given its history and the markets it serves, Baron’s represents a very robust business, but one with strong growth potential.  Having doubled its revenue in the past 4 years, we have worked with management to identify a number of further exciting opportunities to continue this growth.  I am therefore absolutely delighted we have been able to support Garry in acquiring the business and look forward to working with him, the new senior management team including Gary Lasham and David Meltham, and the entire team at Baron’s over the coming years as we implement these strategies. 

This is the first investment out of River Capital’s new Private Equity Fund which was launched last week and is a prime example of the kind of opportunities that we are confident exist in the North West marketplace.  We look forward to more transaction news in the near future. 

Andrew Rutherford, Commercial Director at Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Limited, said: “We were delighted to support the successful completion of the sponsor-backed MBO of Baron’s, which is a testament to the dedication and collaborative efforts of the entire team. This deal would not have been possible without the invaluable contributions of Paula McGrath of Brabners, who helped us navigate through the complexities of the process, and River Capital, a highly supportive sponsor within the region. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with Baron’s and are committed to providing flexible working capital funding post-buyout to help the management team drive their continued success.” 

Brabners Head of Deal Advisory Paula McGrath, who advised Management and Newco on the transaction added: “We worked closely with Management to guide them through the Transaction to deliver the right deal for the business and Management. I am looking froward to seeing the development of the business under the guidance of Management, River Capital and Arbuthnot, they have an exciting time ahead” 

Paula McGrath and Sean Gardner of Brabners Deal Advisory provided management and Newco with Deal Advisory Advice, with legal support provided by Daniel Hayhurst at Brabners. 

Legal advice for River Capital was provided by Michael Murphy at Weightmans and for Arbuthnot by Bermans. Financial Due Diligence services were provided by Jenny Kirkham and Daniel Gallagher at Cortus, Management Due Diligence by The Quinn Partnership, and insurance Due Diligence by Vista.  

Barons previous owners, Andrew and Rachel Rosser were advised by Ian Dawson and Hash Saleem of Signature Corporate finance and Richard Robinson of Napthens solicitors.  

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