The Children’s Furniture Company to spring into new markets after investment

Milton Keynes: 17 December 2018: Foresight Group LLP has announced a substantial investment into Caphan Trading Limited, trading as The Children’s Furniture Company, on behalf of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

Based in Milton Keynes, The Children’s Furniture Company designs, manufactures and sells a wide range of children’s furniture.

After developing its own e-commerce store, the firm now supplies several national retailers - offering durable furniture at an affordable price point compared to its competitors.

Founders, Paul and Clare Hanson, started the company after spotting a gap in the market when sourcing furniture for their own children. Since the firm’s birth in 2012, it has steadily grown year-on-year, principally through selling directly to consumers. This investment is to allow the firm to widen its product range and marketing channels - supporting the entrance into new international markets.

Paul Hanson, Founder and CEO, The Children’s Furniture Company, said: “We are looking forward to working with the Foresight team during this exciting period of growth for The Children’s Furniture Company. The investment will help us to develop our offering to customers and enhance our position in the marketplace.”

Foresight has appointed Gareth Williams, the ex-CEO of Sofa.com, as Chairman of The Children’s Furniture. Gareth has extensive experience in scaling furniture businesses and will support the management team in executing a new growth strategy. It is expected that 12 new jobs will be created over the next two years following this finance injection, all based in the South East Midlands region.

Ben Dawson, Senior Investment Manager, Foresight, added: “Paul and Clare have done an excellent job in building The Children’s Furniture Company on limited resources. We are pleased to be able to support the continued growth and success of the company through this investment by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.”

Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank, commented: “A huge part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund is providing finance to help firms reach new stages of growth. The Children’s Furniture Company has great potential and this cash injection, alongside the support of Foresight, will allow the firm to capitalise on the opportunities available in overseas markets."

Malcolm Johnston, SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Manager, said: “This is a great example of investment supporting British business to develop its international markets. By bringing in expertise, Clare and Paul can further enhance their marketing strategy, productivity and take advantage of further growth opportunities.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

-ENDS-

Picture caption: (from left to right)
Gareth Williams, Chair, Children’s Furniture Company
Moriah Priestley, Councillor, Central Milton Keynes
Ben Dawson, Foresight Group
Clare Hanson, Children’s Furniture Company
Lewis Stringer, British Business Bank
Paul Hanson, Children’s Furniture Company
Malcolm Johnston, Velocity Growth Hub

For further information contact:
Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director, Foresight Group bthompson@foresightgroup.eu / 020

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Advisers:
Financial Due Diligence: Grant Thornton
Legal Due Diligence: Shakespeare Martineau
Commercial Due Diligence: Luminii
Management Overview: Catalysis
E-commerce Review: 5x Thinking
The Children’s’ Furniture Company were advised by Wyvern Partners and Sheridans

About Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”):
Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has some £2.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 24 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.

Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards and was a shortlisted finalist for Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year at the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Rome, Madrid, Seoul and Sydney.
www.foresightgroup.eu

About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, and provide funding to SMEs from £25,000 to £2m, so that can finance their growth and development.

The MEIF is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.

The MEIF is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.

The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.

The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the MEIF www.eib.org

The funds in which MEIF invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.

The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb

About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Our remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank is currently supporting more than £5.5bn of finance to over 78,000 smaller businesses (as at end of June 2018).

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:

• The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.

• The new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides everything high-growth businesses need to know about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.