Entrepreneur swoops for stricken furniture brand

The joint administrators of H&F Upholstery, which trades as Arlo & Jacob, have sold the business to a vehicle controlled by furniture retailer Mark Smith.

Nathan Jones and John Lowe from specialist business advisory firm FRP were appointed Joint Administrators to handmade furniture designer H&F Upholstery, part of the JDP Furniture Group, on Thursday 2 April 2020.

A team from FRP’s corporate finance practice, led by Harry Walker, supported the Joint Administrators with the marketing process. The deal sees the purchaser acquire the intellectual property, order book and production assets used by H&F Upholstery.

All 31 H&F Upholstery staff have TUPE-transferred to the buyer, as well as a further seven employees from the JDP Furniture Group who had been retained by the joint administrators to support their work.

Nathan Jones, joint administrator, said: “The deal secures the future of 38 jobs at a critical period for the retail industry and its underlying manufacturing base and supply chain. We wish everyone from H&F Upholstery all the best as they work with Mark and his team to further grow and establish Arlo & Jacob.”

Mark Smith, chief executive of DM Midlands Holdings, said: “I have always admired Arlo & Jacob from afar and couldn’t resist the opportunity to save the business.

“Arlo & Jacob has been incredibly well invested since inception with a very talented team, five beautiful showrooms in prime locations complemented by its strong online platform.

“There is an opportunity to continue its positive growth story with more showrooms and venturing into the interior contract market.”

Harry Walker, corporate finance director at FRP, said: “We were pleased to support the Joint Administrators by marketing the business on an accelerated timetable. We expect these types of transactions to become increasingly prominent in preserving and generating value in the coming months.”

A team from Eversheds Sutherland, led by Mark Wood and Doug Highet, provided legal advice to FRP on the transaction.