FRP advises furniture firm on two stage MBO.

The deal

FRP advises furniture firm on two stage MBO

Hunters – The Furniture Company has announced the successful completion of the first stage of its management buyout.

The Dagenham and Clerkenwell business, one of the UK’s leading independent furniture specialists, has an annual turnover of £37 million and employs 50 staff.

Founder Martin Playell and Managing Director, Gary Thomas, have been advised by the firm’s Corporate Finance team. Led by Corporate Finance Partner Adrian Alexander and Senior Manager Nick Lovelock, the team has helped facilitate the succession of the business to a new management team, as part of a two-step management buyout.

Four long-standing employees, Stef Brennan, Norman Campbell, Lewis Harman and Rob Cannon, have been appointed as the new management team of the business, and will work alongside colleagues to ensure the business remains on an upward trajectory.

Gary Thomas will remain as Managing Director to oversee and assist the new management team during the transition period.

Adrian said: “Gary and Martin have played a vital role in making Hunters the successful business it is today, and it is now ready for the baton to be passed to the new leadership team.

“We are increasingly seeing more and more businesses taking this approach over traditional trade sales or management buyouts. The process provides the management team with the opportunity to share in the growth of the company alongside the current owners who retain an equity stake.

“It is an exciting time for the business, and we have no doubt the new management team have the experience, ambition and ethos to thrive.”

Mark Williams Corporate Partner at Gaby Hardwicke, based in Sussex, provided legal support to the owners. Mark said: “We are pleased to get this deal across the line and wish our clients, Gary and Martin, as well as the management team all the very best for the future. We’ve advised on a number of “two-step buyouts” and the structure is a great way of allowing owners to plan for their succession and provide all parties with a workable exit and growth plan.”

Amy Reynolds of international firm Mazars who specialise in audit, accounting, tax and advisory services advised on a taxation matters. She said: “It’s been an interesting and involved process from a tax point of view, but we are delighted the deal has completed successfully and are confident the company has been left in safe hands with the new management team.”

Deal summary


September 2019


Business services

Deal type:

Management Buyout Financing

Deal size:


We are increasingly seeing more and more businesses taking this approach over traditional trade sales or management buyouts. Adrian Alexander Corporate Finance

Related team

Adrian Alexander

Adrian Alexander

  • Partner
  • Corporate Finance
  • Brighton

Nick Lovelock

Nick Lovelock

  • Associate Director
  • Corporate Finance
  • Brighton