News Archive

08 June 2011

British Thornton secures new Co-op facility

Yorkshire-based furniture manufacturer British Thornton ESF has refinanced with the Co-operative Bank as it targets growth. 

200x150_fitbox-british_thornton_001_small1.jpgThe renewed facility allowed existing directors Gary Wilks and Stuart Little to acquire the shares of fellow director David Jevons, who is retiring. The agreement with the bank includes  a new cash flow loan facility and an increase in the property loan originally granted to fund the 135-year-old company’s current premises. Wilks said: "We have enjoyed a 14-year relationship with The Co-operative Bank, working closely with them since 1996 when we undertook a management buyout which was supported by the bank. "It is good news that their continued backing means that my co-director Stuart Little and I can take the company forward and secure our strong position in this niche, growing market."

Six years ago, the company expanded to a 4.7-acre freehold site in Keighley comprising its headquarters and an 110,000 sq ft manufacturing complex. The £3m investment in new premises, plus a further £2m in new machinery, has enabled the business to continue to grow and it now employs 180 staff.

The refinancing deal was arranged by David Whitehouse, corporate relationship manager for The Co-operative Bank, and the bank was advised by Jonathan Simms of Leeds law firm Clarion.The management team was represented by David Paterson of Blacks Solicitors in Leeds and Jevons was advised by Andrew Francey of Leeds and Sheffield solicitors Lupton Fawcett. David Whitehouse, corporate relationship manager for The Co-operative Bank, said: "British Thornton is a long-established and solid Yorkshire business and we are delighted to be able to support the directors. They benefit from long experience and operate within a market where there is still considerable potential for growth."