Consumer & Retail


Canburg Limited


Business Growth Fund

Acquired By

Canburg Limited / Business Growth Fund

Cavendish Corporate Finance is delighted to have advised Canburg, owner of two of the world’s most renowned luxury fitted furniture businesses – Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson Furniture – on the capital investment of £8 million from Business Growth Fund (BGF), which will take a minority stake in the business.

The transaction builds on Cavendish’s in-depth expertise in the luxury sector, with previous transactions including Smythson, Princess Yachts, Theo Fennell, Liberty, David Morris, Watches of Switzerland and Mappin & Webb.

BGF’s investment will enable Canburg to accelerate its UK and international growth strategy. This will build on the success and vision that has seen its products take centre stage in the world’s most exclusive developments, becoming the choice of A-List celebrities such as Dustin Hoffman, Sir Elton John and Oprah Winfrey.

CEO Leo Caplan established Canburg in 2009 to purchase Smallbone and Mark Wilkinson Furniture. The British entrepreneur committed more than £10 million to the long-established businesses, enabling them to return to profitability. Following a successful restructuring programme, the group made EBITDA £2.1 million from sales of almost £30 million in the 12 months to 30 June, 2013. Profits are expected to have increased to over £3 million EBITDA in the year to June 2014.

Smallbone is the ultimate in bespoke cabinetry, founded on a time-honoured British craft tradition, with a passion for quality and design. Internationally recognised as the leading global luxury kitchen company Mark Wilkinson Furniture has set the style icons for classic and contemporary furniture for over three decades and has brought fitted furniture for the kitchen and rooms throughout the home into the highest echelons of fine luxury living.

The group has multiple routes to market, selling directly to high net worth customers through showrooms, in partnership with in-market dealerships, as well as selling to developers of luxury properties in leading locations such as New York City.

Howard Leigh, Senior Partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance, commented:

“Canburg has great heritage and is an outstanding example of British craftsmanship and expertise. It is a great brand ambassador for UK overseas, with around a third of its sales coming from internationally. We were very happy to play our part in helping the firm secure investment from the British Growth Fund and the specialist expertise of our corporate finance team in the capital raising arena is one of its core strengths.

Leo Caplan, CEO of the Canburg Group, commented:

“This is a really exciting time for Canburg. I first invested in these businesses because of my passion for the luxury furniture they both make. I started considering the strategic options for the group almost a year ago after being approached by prospective buyers, and instructed Cavendish to assess these. I wasn’t looking to sell but started exploring how best to take the business to the next level. The process reminded me why I fell in love with these companies in the first place and the fantastic opportunities that are available. I am confident that, over the next five years, we can grow the business from its current valuation of over £50 million (post investment) to a global luxury group worth in excess of £500 million.”

Paul OIdham, Regional Director at BGF, commented:

“Leo and his management team have successfully capitalised on Smallbone’s and Mark Wilkinsons’ high standards of design and manufacture building an impressive international reputation and broad customer base. They have looked to BGF to put investment behind their ambition to create a truly global business; we share this vision and over the next few years fully expect to see Canburg take a dominant role on the international stage.

Key Contacts

Jonathan Buxton


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Lord Leigh of Hurley

Senior Partner

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