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Palamon Capital-backed The Rug Company appoints CEO

Palamon Capital Partners-backed The Rug Company, a handmade rug brand, appointed former Hunter Boot Chief Executive Officer James Seuss as CEO, effective Dec. 14, 2015. Current CEO Christopher Sharp, who founded the company with Suzanne Sharp, will remain as a non-executive board director. Seuss is joined by new non-executive board directors Marty Wikstrom and Tord Dyrssen. Palamon bought The Rug Company earlier this month.

Press Release

The Rug Company announces the appointment of James Seuss as Chief Executive Officer, effective from 14th December 2015. Mr. Seuss is joined by newly appointed Non-Executive Board Directors, Marty Wikstrom and Tord Dyrssen.

These appointments follow the majority acquisition of the Company by Palamon Capital Partners, a pan-European growth investor, from founders Christopher and Suzanne Sharp earlier this month. Current CEO Christopher Sharp will remain as a Non-Executive Board Director and will continue to be very involved in the company’s growth initiatives going forward.

Mr. Seuss has built an extensive career in leading a number of international luxury and fashion brands in London and New York, with a mission to grow the Direct to Consumer business through compelling in-store and online consumer experiences.

He joins The Rug Company from Hunter Boot Ltd, where as CEO he led the development of the company into a global lifestyle brand from a single category business, and increased sales significantly. Prior to that he was CEO of Tourneau, the multi-brand US luxury watch retailer; and before that was the first CEO of Stella McCartney Ltd. Mr. Seuss began his retail career at Tiffany & Co., where he held senior positions in both Europe and Asia before going on to become the President of Harry Winston.

Marty Wikstrom is a seasoned brand and retail executive with over 30 years’ experience in the US and Europe. She is the founder of Atelier Fund, specialising in the acquisition and development of luxury brands. She is also currently Chairman of the Board of Harrys of London and is a Board Director of Fortnum & Mason, Johnstons of Elgin and Farrow and Ball. Tord Dyrssen is currently President EMEA Wholesale at Ralph Lauren, where he has driven significant increases in the EMEA division’s growth and profitability. He was previously CEO of Agnona, the Luxury Women’s Clothing and Accessories brand, owned by the Ermenegildo Zegna Group and Managing Director of Nautica Inc.

Christopher Sharp, Founder of The Rug Company commented, “We extend a warm welcome to James as the new CEO of The Rug Company as well as Marty and Tord to the Board. It is testament to the growing reputation of our business that we have attracted leaders of this calibre to support our growth plans. Marty and Tord have achieved success at the highest level across a variety of brands and I am thrilled that they have decided to join our Board as Non-Executive Directors. Their experience will be invaluable as we continue to grow The Rug Company.”

James Seuss, CEO of The Rug Company commented, “It is a privilege to be joining a company with such passion and focus on delivering exceptional products to consumers, and I look forward to building on the success the business has had globally. I have long been an admirer of this uniquely British company and what it stands for in the market.”

Pascal Noth, Partner of Palamon Capital Partners, said, “With the appointments of James, Marty and Tord, The Rug Company will now benefit from the addition of world-class managers with the experience to help the company’s team to open up new markets and fulfil the firm’s true global potential.”

The Rug Company is a leading global brand in luxury handmade rugs with an established international sales presence through ten own showrooms and a number of franchisees and concessions worldwide, generating sales of £23 million. 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.

The Rug Company operates in the £3 billion luxury & affordable luxury segment of the global rug market and 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.

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.

The Rug Company

The Rug Company is recognised internationally as the leading name for contemporary handmade rugs. Combining exceptional quality with original design and flawless service, we use age-old weaving techniques to create rugs that are precious and unique. Our design studio collaborates with 40 of the world’s most inspirational designers and offers a bespoke service for any specific requirements.