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A Northern Irish maker of blinds and shutters expands via targeted M&A

Decora

Decora’s story began in 1979, when founders Michael and Lynda Dickson started to sell awnings to customers in their home region of Northern Ireland.

From the start, the family-owned business had ambitions to expand. Two years later, the couple invested in manufacturing equipment that allowed them to produce their own internal window blinds.

Forty years on, still family-owned and run by Stuart and Russell Dickson, the business produces a wide range of standardised and bespoke blinds and shutters, selling to over 2,500 trade customers. It remains headquartered in Lisburn with six manufacturing and warehousing facilities spread across Northern Ireland, Birmingham and Lithuania, employing more than 1,000 people.

The company makes stylish, contemporary window coverings including shutters, Venetian blinds and roller blinds, in standard and bespoke sizes.

An expert on furnishings

BGF introduced Decora to its chairman, John Davison, an ex-Bridgepoint partner who has served on the boards of Triton Showers, Johnston Tiles and his family’s third generation furniture making business.

BGF Talent Network  

Expansion across Europe

Having become established in the design, manufacture and distribution of window coverings across the UK and Ireland, Decora is now targeting its next stage of growth. This includes expansion into Europe coupled with building up its product range and manufacturing capacity, and a move into e-commerce. The ambitious plan will partly be achieved via acquisition.

Supported by a £10 million investment from BGF, Decora has already made four acquisitions to increase its scale and market offering. The business now has manufacturing operations in Lithuania to help serve the European markets and three e-commerce platforms.

BGF's investment will help Decora to...

Invest in product development and equipment.

Continue to build the team with key strategic hires.

Pursue strategic acquisitions.

Expand across Europe.

 

What BGF offers

BGF finalised its investment in Decora in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the market turbulence caused by lockdowns and restrictions, both parties were keen to push ahead with the deal, which had initially been discussed before the pandemic took hold.

“For all businesses, 2020 been incredibly turbulent, but we are fortunate to have a very robust and strong underlying business, and a resilient team. Our partnership with BGF puts the business in a strong position to continue its growth journey as the world adapts to the new normal,” says chief executive, Stuart Dickson.

For all businesses, 2020 been incredibly turbulent, but we are fortunate to have a very robust and strong underlying business, and a resilient team. Our partnership with BGF puts the business in a strong position to continue its growth journey as the world adapts to the new normal.

Stuart Dickson, chief executive of Decora

£10m

Invested by BGF

The next steps

More selective acquisitions are planned which should see Decora deliver on its ambitions to become one of the leading players across the UK and Europe.

“Pre-Covid, we identified several strategic acquisition opportunities which we are continuing to explore,” explains Stuart.

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