Oak Furnitureland future secured through acquisition by global investment management firm

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Oak Furnitureland, the UK’s largest retailer of quality solid hardwood furniture, has reached a deal with global investment manager, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP to secure its future.

The deal follows a sale process undertaken by Deloitte, includes substantial new funding provided by Davidson Kempners’s affiliated asset-lending platform, Breal Zeta Commercial Finance, in support of the management’s business plan, and will be executed via a pre-pack administration. The existing Oak Furnitureland CEO Alex Fisher will continue to lead the management team and all employees have transferred as part of the acquisition.

The company, which operates 105 showrooms in the UK and employs 1,491 people, has, along with other retailers, been affected by the hugely challenging retail environment coupled with the adverse trading conditions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oak Furnitureland is a strong brand with a long-standing heritage and as a result of the sale the company will be in a very strong position to realise future growth.  Business operations will continue as normal as showrooms and warehouses begin to reopen in line with government guidance, from 17th June.

In detail:

·         All colleagues have transferred to the restructured business.

·         All customer deposits are protected and all existing customer orders will be fulfilled.

·         The management team will work with suppliers, landlords and other partners to prepare the business for the post-covid-19 environment and position it for future growth.

·         A phased withdrawal from the government’s furlough scheme is underway to support showrooms re-opening and deliveries increasing.

·         Oak Furnitureland’s founder and principal shareholder Jason Bannister is fully supportive of the transaction which will see ownership of the business completely transferred

·         The Joint administrators at Deloitte were partners Rob Harding and Dan Smith

Commenting on the announcement, Oak Furnitureland CEO, Alex Fisher, said: “The deal announced today puts Oak Furnitureland on a stronger financial footing, enabling us to drive forward our clear plan for growth. We are a fantastic business with a loyal customer base and an omni-channel retail presence, and we are looking forward to working with our partners to ensure a successful future.”

Rob Harding, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: “We have been working closely with the management team under difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution and the deal announced today is a positive one which secures the future of the business. We would like to thank all of those involved in the transaction and wish the management team every success in now taking the business forward.”