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£8 Million Capital Investment Will Accelerate Company Growth

Canburg Limited, owner of two of the world’s most renowned luxury fitted furniture businesses – Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson Furniture – has secured an £8 million capital investment from Business Growth Fund (BGF), the UK’s most active growth capital investor, which will take a minority stake in the business. BGF’s investment will enable the group to accelerate its UK and international growth strategy. This will build on the success and vision that has seen its furniture take centre stage in the world’s most beautiful homes and exclusive developments.

It will also create up to 40 jobs at the group’s UK showrooms and the workshop in Wiltshire, where all its products are hand-made by skilled and experienced craftsmen and women. Further jobs will be created overseas.

“This is a really exciting time for Canburg,” said CEO Leo Caplan. “I first invested in these businesses because of my passion for the luxury furniture they both make. The fact that the furniture is hand made in the UK and supplied globally is a fantastic testament to our cabinet making heritage. I have inherited a love of timber as my grandfather was a timber merchant. Canburg is proud of its highly skilled workforce, many of whom have been with the companies for decades. I started considering the strategic options for the group almost a year ago after being approached by prospective buyers, and instructed Cavendish Corporate Finance to assess these. I wasn’t looking to sell but started exploring how best to take the business to the next level. The process reminded me why I fell in love with these companies in the first place and the fantastic opportunities that are available.

Perhaps most exciting are the opportunities overseas, where Canburg already generates a third of its revenues thanks to the reputation we have gained with customers in the US and elsewhere. I am delighted that in BGF we have found the perfect long-term partner to help us reach our full potential and create the value that clearly exists in this business. I am confident that, over the next five years, we can grow the business from its current valuation of over £50 million (post investment) to a global luxury group worth in excess of £500 million.”

BGF, the UK’s leading growth capital investor backed by five of the UK’s major banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered – has a strong track record of providing British manufacturing businesses with the support they need to thrive. BGF was established in 2011 as an independent company with up to £2.5bn to invest and a mandate to support the growth of British smaller and mid-sized businesses. BGF’s commitment of capital and wider support will enable Canburg to further expand its domestic and international reach and will support Leo Caplan’s ambitions to create a global luxury group.

Paul OIdham, Regional Director at BGF, said: “Smallbone and Mark Wilkinson Furniture represent the highest standards of British design and manufacturing, which are held in high esteem all over the world. Leo and his management team have very successfully capitalised on this, building an impressive international reputation and broad customer base. They have looked to BGF to put investment behind their ambition to create a truly global business; we share this vision and over the next few years fully expect to see Canburg take a dominant role among a select group of successful British design and manufacturing businesses operating on the international stage.

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