Former Matalan exec swoops for established interiors business

Jo Sullivan, left, and Sylvia Taylor

Liverpool-based Tower Grange Finance has concluded a deal to support the acquisition of an interior design business by Matalan’s former head buyer for ladies’ wear.

The funder has provided a mix of equity and loan finance to support the acquisition of Classic Interiors, in Burscough, from its founder, Sylvia Taylor, who has been trading from the same base for more than 25 years.

The business has now been sold to fashion entrepreneur Jo Sullivan and has been re-branded as Classic Interiors by Jo Sullivan.

Sylvia Taylor will remain with the business as a consultant for two days a week.

“This was a complicated deal in so much as it had to take into consideration the owner’s personal aspirations and timescales,” said Tower Grange director, Steve Peck.

“Letting go of such a successful business can’t be easy but it was a pleasure working with Sylvia and Jo to help bring the deal about,” he added.

Prior to the acquisition, Jo Sullivan was global head of ladies’ wear for Knowsley-based Matalan, with a career-long expertise in sourcing materials and curating collections.

She has a degree in textile design from Nottingham Trent University, from where she also gained her Master’s in fabric technology.

“We’ve got a lovely team here that has been with the business for many years and I’m delighted to be working with them,” said Jo.

“The business is unique in that we have a studio that can make up our designs, including curtains and soft furnishings.

“Our next-door neighbour is the best upholsterer in the business so we have a lively little eco-system that produces outstanding work at any budget,” she added.

Sullivan says her aim is to sustain and grow the business’s reach, supporting householders and businesses throughout West Lancashire and Merseyside.

“We have the buying power, supplier network, design intelligence and creativity to support larger commercial contracts and we’re already talking to architects and interior designers about how we can help,” she said.

“But we won’t take our eye off the ball as far as our core business goes. Householders seeking inspiration and ideas for their homes will always be our priority.”

The company employs six staff at its studio on Platts Lane Industrial Estate, Burscough.

The terms of the deal were not revealed.

Formby Law acted for the vendor, while Brown Turner Ross advised Jo Sullivan.

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