Palamon Capital acquires majority stake in The Rug Company

Palamon Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in The Rug Company, a luxury handmade rug brand, from its founders Christopher and Suzanne Sharp. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Press Release

Palamon Capital Partners (“Palamon” or the “Firm”), a pan-European growth investor, has acquired a majority stake in The Rug Company (or the “Company”) from its founders Christopher and Suzanne Sharp, who will continue to hold a significant stake in the Company, and minority shareholder Piper. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Rug Company is a leading global brand in luxury handmade rugs with an established international sales presence through 10 own showrooms and a number of franchisees and concessions worldwide, generating sales of £23 million. Founded in 1997 by husband and wife team Christopher and Suzanne Sharp, the Company sells a range of more than 300 high-quality, contemporary rugs which are crafted entirely by hand, using traditional weaving techniques. The Company has built a strong reputation for design, based on its own in-house collection and through ranges developed in collaboration with iconic designers such as Alexander McQueen, Diane von Furstenberg, Kelly Wearstler, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood. Following the transaction the founders will remain actively involved in the Company.

The Rug Company operates in the £3 billion luxury & affordable luxury segment of the global rug market. Palamon’s investment stems from the Firm’s ongoing thesis work to identify well-positioned brands that can capture the shift in consumer demand toward authentic, artisanal products. The Rug Company has proven success in three of the world’s largest rug markets, US, Germany and UK; and with a rich heritage of high-quality design-led rugs, is ideally positioned to accelerate growth.

Pascal Noth, Partner of Palamon Capital Partners, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with The Rug Company – a market leading brand in a niche retail sector with excellent growth dynamics. The Company has established a strong brand name in key global markets and is consistently recognized by interior designers for leading design and quality. With consumers increasingly seeking hand-crafted quality products with heritage we see fantastic potential in scaling the business from the strong base established by Christopher and Suzanne, into a truly global company.”

Christopher Sharp, Founder and CEO of The Rug Company commented, “We are immensely proud of the excellent reputation The Rug Company has achieved in the world of interiors, design and fashion and with the progress we have made during the past 18 years. We are delighted to be partnering with Palamon for the next stage in our development and look forward to working together. They clearly share our vision for expansion and a belief in the values that have been fundamental to the company’s success.”

Palamon’s investment strategy targets founder-led, services sector businesses across Europe with the potential to grow revenue at more than 20% per annum. The Rug Company is Palamon’s third investment during 2015. In June, Palamon acquired luxury Italian leather goods brand Il Bisonte as part of the same investment thematic into affordable luxury retail. In August, Palamon signed an agreement to acquire Currencies Direct, one of the UK’s leading international payments providers.

Advisers involved in this transaction included:

Advisors to Palamon – Houlihan Lokey
Financial Due Diligence – PricewaterhouseCoopers
Legal Due Diligence – Slaughters & May
Commercial and Operational Due Diligence – Kurt Salmon

About Palamon Capital Partners

Palamon Capital Partners, LP is an independent private equity partnership founded in 1999, which is focused on providing equity for European growth services companies. Palamon originates, executes and manages investments on a pan-European basis, with a particular focus on the UK, Germany, Benelux, Italy, Spain, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The Firm targets investments in companies where it can be the lead private equity provider and where it can provide strategic direction and partner with management to help build equity value. The Firm manages funds with €1.4 billion of equity capital for investment.