Snooker table cloth maker sold by private equity owner

Fri, 29 Jan 2016 | BUSINESS SALE

WSP Textiles, the company behind the cloth of choice for World Championship snooker tables and tennis balls at Wimbledon, has been sold by its private equity owner.

Two private companies, Iwan Simonis and Saluc, both part of the Peltzer & Fils Group, have bought the business from Vespa Capital. KPMG, at its Bristol base, was the main adviser to WSP and management. The financial figures involved in the deal were not disclosed.

WSP has been making and supplying the Strachan cloth that has been used for World Snooker since 1980, while Playne's tennis ball cloth covers Dunlop, Head, Babolat, Tretorn and Wilson tennis balls, which are used at Wimbledon, and the Australian Open tournaments.

The Stroud-based business was established in 1920, yet it can trace its history back further to the 19th Century with the manufacture of products in the West Country.

Vespa Capital became involved when it backed a management buyout deal in 2011, going on to help WSP to bring in new plant and equipment.

The textile company's new owners are also involved in the same industry, Iwan Simonis makes premium billiard table cloth and Saluc produces billiard balls, and commands about 80 per cent of this market.

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