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Brintons Carpets saved in 40m deal

One of the oldest companies in the Midlands has been acquired by a US-based asset management group in a deal worth £40m.

The move by the Carlyle Group to acquire Worcestershire-based Brintons Carpets out of administration has secured the jobs of 700 people in the Midlands and a further 1,000 globally.

A new company set up by Carlyle has already received a significant cash investment as part of the deals, which Carlyle said stabilised the business and re-positioned Brintons for a return to profit and future growth.

The deal is thought to involve £20m to write off Brintons' debt and a £20m investment in the group.

In a statement, Brintons said Carlyle’s investment would enable the firm to implement its strategic plan for further global expansion – the company already has operations in the US, Europe, India and Australia.

Carlyle said: "As a fully integrated and global organisation, Brintons will be better positioned to serve its global customer base and compete for larger commercial contracts in Asia-Pacific and the West Coast of America. The investment will also support the company's commitment to technological innovation including the development of Brintons' new proprietary High Definition Weave technology."

The 228-year-old business, which is the largest manufacturer of axminster carpets in the world, has carried out many prestigious projects, including the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, the Queen Mary 2, many Las Vegas casinos and recently the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, in London.

The company currently has plant facilities in Kidderminster and Telford, India and Portugal and its product portfolio includes premium woven axminster and wilton broadloom carpets, axminster carpet tiles and handtufted rugs.

Managing director Don Coates said: "This investment from Carlyle is great news for Brintons as it ensures the continuation of the business and survival of a renowned British brand.

"The company was impacted by the unprecedented challenges faced by carpet manufacturers during the economic downturn, which disrupted our plans for the business."

He said Brintons' management team selected Carlyle following a competitive process to find a suitable business partner. The opportunity attracted interest from a significant number of interested parties.

"We believe Carlyle's strategic involvement, investment and international network combined with our global reputation for quality and innovation will set the company back on track for long-term profitable growth," added Mr Coates.

Ian Jackson, director at Carlyle, said: "We are delighted to invest in Brintons, a global brand with a long heritage that is recognised for its quality, design and unique technology.

"Carlyle has a strong track record of managing and investing in companies in this position and we look forward to supporting Brintons' management team to facilitate international expansion and enable the company to reach its full potential."

Investment for the deal will come from Carlyle Strategic Partners (CSP).

It is the second time this year Carlyle has acquired a well known Midlands based company following its £1bn takeover of RAC in June.

Source : Duncan Tift – The Business Desk

10 September 2011
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