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BGF invests £10m in Decora

BGF News 09.06.2020.

BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor, has invested £10m in Lisburn-based Decora, a leading manufacturer of window coverings, to support its long-term growth plans.

The funding will be used to support Decora’s continued strong growth via expansion into European markets, strategic M&A, and continued investment in product development and infrastructure. Marking its initial entry into Europe, Decora has recently completed the acquisition of Domus Lumina, a €10m turnover Lithuanian-headquartered manufacturing partner.

Founded in 1979, Decora is an established leader in the design, engineering, manufacturing and distribution of window coverings across the UK and Ireland. The business has invested heavily in its manufacturing capacity and produces a market leading range of standardised and bespoke window coverings, including blinds and shutters. It employs over 1,000 people at its headquarters in Lisburn, with further facilities in Birmingham.

Decora has appointed John Davison as Chairman following an introduction by BGF. John is a serial entrepreneur and investor with significant M&A experience. Most recently he founded Pillarstone, before which he was Global Head of Strategic Investments at RBS, and partner at Bridgepoint. During his career John has served on numerous Boards, including Millar Homes, Triton Showers, Johnston Tiles and his family’s third generation furniture manufacturing business.

Stuart Dickson, CEO, Decora said: “For all businesses, the past few months have been incredibly turbulent, but we are pleased to announce this positive news alongside BGF. We are fortunate to have a very robust and strong underlying business, and a brilliant and resilient team.

“Pre-Covid, we identified several strategic acquisition opportunities which we are continuing to explore. BGF has delivered on a partnership agreed before the onset of Covid which will put the business in a strong position to continue our growth strategy as the world adapts to the new normal.”

David Gammie, Investor at BGF covering Scotland and Northern Ireland said: “Decora is one of the most respected and successful businesses in Northern Ireland, with an industry-leading offering, highly motivated and experienced leadership team, and a strong track record of growth.

“Understandably, Covid-19 has created uncertainty for all businesses in Northern Ireland. Decora has taken responsible and all necessary steps to safeguard its team during this period, and we look forward to working with the management team to support the longer-term growth plans of the business.”

The investment was led for BGF by Paddy Graham, David Gammie and Euan Baxter.

John Davison, incoming Chairman said: “Decora is an extremely well run and robust business that is already a real success story thanks to the hard work and investment of its management team and family shareholders. I am excited to be joining the company at this point and working with the Dickson family, Decora management team and BGF to deliver the next phase of growth for the business. Being well capitalised during this period of uncertainty is highly important and I look forward to supporting the team to grow the business, especially through strategic acquisitions that enhance Decora’s already significant platform.”

The advisors to the transaction were:

BGF: Tughans (Legal), Grant Thornton (Financial Due Diligence)

Decora: A&L Goodbody (Legal), KPMG (Financial), RSM (Tax)