Blinds company Hillarys up for sale

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 | BUSINESS SALE

The fitted blind company Hillarys is believed to have been put up for sale by its private equity owners European Capital for as much as £250 million.

According to the Sunday Times, European Capital has been talking to several investment bankers in the City to discuss the potential sale.

Hillarys was set up by Tony Hillary in 1971 when he began fitting made-to-measure blinds in Nottingham. The company has grown to employ over 1,300 people with a further 1,000 self-employed fitters. In addition to blinds the company now supplies carpets, shutters and curtains to homes across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Around 21,000 shutters and blinds are made and fitted by Hillarys each week.

The company has three manufacturing centres, two in Nottingham and one in Tyne and Wear. Hillarys has recently completed a major company-wide upgrade of its enterprise software which is believed to have been very successful in improving the speed and efficiency of its systems.

Tony Hillary sold the business for £50 million to Close Brothers Private Equity in 2001 and it has since changed hands several times since then, mainly between private equity owners.

European Capital bought the business for £229 million in 2007 and it is possible that current moves to dispose of Hillarys has been initiated in the wake of the current acquisition of European Capital’s parent company by finance house Ares Management.


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