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The Cotswold Company set to expand on and offline following acquisition

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Pureplay The Cotswold Company is set to grow on and offline as its new owners plan to expand via showrooms, online and through a wider product range.

Investment firm True Capital has bought the online furniture retailer, via its acquisition of Blackbird Retail Holdings. True Capital will continue to work with existing management to grow the business.

Currently the retailer turns over more than £35m, handling more than 100,000 orders a year from its Wednesbury warehouse.

True Capital sees strong potential in the business to benefit from the ongoing move towards online sales, and, citing Forrester and Verdict research analysts, predicts compound annual growth of around 13% in the years to 2020 for the online retail furniture market. It now aims to accelerate the pace of online growth, expanding product and category ranges while opening more showrooms.

Matt Truman, CEO and co-founder of True Capital, said: “As a sector specialist firm, we aim to invest in retailers of the future and utilise our unique retail and consumer ecosystem to help accelerate growth. In The Cotswold Company we identified a strong business exposed to the right structural growth trends, with excellent financial metrics, driven and executed by exceptional founders and a world class management team.”

Gordon Segal, who founded $1bn turnover US furniture retailer Crate&Barrel, is invested in True Capital through his family’s Prairie Management Group, and will play an active role in the company, especially in the areas of product, real estate and supply chain.

Kevin Johnson, chief executive of The Cotswold Company, comments: “I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved to date in delivering great quality furniture to homes throughout the UK. We have built a loyal and growing consumer base, and are continually driven to ensure our customers receive not only the best furniture, but also an exceptional retail experience.

“In True Capital we have found a partner to take our business to the next level, whilst allowing us to adopt new technologies that will benefit our customers’ experiences. Throughout the process, which took just eight weeks, it was evident that the professionalism, experience, spirit of partnership and retail network that True Capital will bring to our business is second to none. We are delighted to have them on board and look forward to growing the business with them over the coming years.”

The transaction was underwritten by debt and working capital led by the Royal Bank of Scotland’s corporate transaction team. True Capital was advised by Jones Day and PwC, while the shareholders of Blackbird Retail Holdings were advised by Livingstone Partners, JDC Corporate Finance and Pinsent Masons.

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