Continuing year-on-year growth track record
Seneca Partners (“Seneca”), the specialist SME investment business based in the North West, is pleased to report that its private equity investment, Whyte and Ivory Ltd, continues its seamless track record of year-on-year growth – breaking through £10m of sales this year.
Whyte and Ivory, the textiles business focussing on wholesale contract curtain fabrics and curtain linings, saw growth in its UK business, which exports a considerable proportion of sales into the EU, and in Whyte & Ivory LLC, its subsidiary based in North Carolina.
Seneca investors, which hold a 30% stake in the North West based business, first invested in Whyte and Ivory in 2019 to support the founders in building out the team and expanding its global customer base.
In the last three years US Sales have grown 650% – reward for the investment made in a North Carolina warehouse and over £1m in stock to support key US accounts and markets. The business is now adding US customers at an average of one per week.
A master wholesaler to some of the world’s leading home furnishings and contract fabrics brands, Whyte and Ivory continues to grow its network of distributors for market leading fabrics. Key to this is the recent investment in bulk wide-width digital printing equipment, enabling broad ranges of bespoke fabrics to be created at lower investment cost for distributors to the hotel and corporate sectors.
Leading the linings world in innovation, whilst caring for the planet, Whyte and Ivory has just launched two more sustainable products. The first is a 50% GRS Recycled Polyester / 50% Better Cotton Initiative (fair trade cotton) version of its best-selling Manchester Satin lining, the second a 50% Recycled Polyester version of its most popular FR sheer, called “Linen”. Most of Whyte and Ivory’s linings can now come with Better Cotton Initiative accreditation.
Richard Manley, CEO of Seneca Partners commented, “Despite the difficult trading conditions, Whyte & Ivory has built revenues year-on-year and delivered on each of the core strategies in its business plan. The growth in the US has been phenomenal as the team has differentiated their proposition from the major players in the market, winning new customers every week. The digital print capability that Seneca has invested in is market leading across the world. This has really changed the conversation with customers as they recognise Whyte & Ivory as an innovator and leader in the sector.”
Peter Hamilton, Founder of Whyte and Ivory added; “We plan to keep building sales from the UK but really see the US as a huge market opportunity for us. We have the best quality product in the market offered at competitive prices, all the while retaining the premium service proposition of a dynamic, private business that is passionate about customer service. The results of this are evident in the numbers.”
Notes to Editors
Formed in 2010, Seneca Partners is an award-winning specialist SME investment and advisory business based in the North West of England. The team brings together decades of success in providing bespoke investment and advisory solutions for clients across a multitude of financial areas including VCT, EIS & IHT product offerings. With over 70 staff working from three offices, Seneca Partners maintains a strong regional presence in the North West and North of the UK, with strong deal flow in the SME heartland areas.
Richard Manley, CEO of Seneca Partners
Richard is the CEO and co-founder of Seneca Partners. He sits on the Board of Seneca Growth Capital VCT Plc and has been a permanent member of Seneca’s Investment and Credit committees since launch. Richard has extensive private equity, fund management and investment experience with previous roles include KPMG, NM Rothschild and Cenkos Securities. Richard is a chartered accountant and holds a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Birmingham.
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