Swedish firm buys Yorkshire kitchen maker in £34m deal

Paul Rose, Rixonway CEO,
Paul Rose, Rixonway CEO,
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A SWEDISH company has bought one of the UK’s biggest manufacturers of rigid kitchens for social housing in a £34m deal.

Nobia, which is behind the Magnet kitchen brand, said the deal to acquire Dewsbury-based Rixonway would strengthen its position in the UK market. Rixonway has manufactured kitchens in Yorkshire for 36 years. Since a management buyout (MBO) in 2006, which was led by the chief executive Paul Rose, it has become one of the market leaders in supplying kitchens to contractors operating in the social housing sector. The company employs 480 staff and its turnover is around £40m. Nobia manufactures and sells kitchens through a 20-strong brand portfolio and already has a significant presence in the UK market. Mr Rose and the management team will continue to run Rixonway following the completion of the deal.

Mr Rose said: “It’s business as usual. The acquisition of Rixonway by the Nobia group is a great strategic fit for both businesses. Being part of a larger group will open up many opportunities for the business and we look forward to working closely with Nobia to realise our future growth plans.”

Mr Rose said the deal was agreed after the management team had examined a number of exit options.

“We went to the market and we got interest from trade and PE (private equity),’’ he said.

Nobia soon emerged among the front runners, said Mr Rose.

He added: “They were aware of us and they were impressed by what we had done when the market had been very difficult. The bulk of the (Rixonway) business is still social housing, and we really understand it.

“The Rixonway brand is staying. From the outside world’s point of view, it’s the same business, with the same people running it.”

Peter Kane, Head of Nobia in Western Europe said: “It is very exciting for Nobia to strengthen its presence in the project market. The addition of Rixonway will complement our approach to the UK market very well.”

Philip Rattle led the original MBO and exit alongside Mike Biddulph for August Equity, and the vendors were advised by Paul Trickett and Matthew Nicholson in the corporate finance team at Deloitte in Leeds.

Mr Trickett said: “Rixonway is a great manufacturing business with a strong management team. We’re pleased to have worked with them and August to ensure the business can move on to the next stage of its development as part of a major European kitchen specialist like Nobia.

“I am confident the partnership with Nobia will help both businesses realise their growth ambitions and continue to drive growth in the Yorkshire manufacturing sector.”

Ian Gilbert of Walker Morris provided legal advice to the management team. Giles Taylor and Chris Stott from KPMG advised Nobia in connection with the acquisition.