Swindon furniture retailer saved through pre-pack administration deal

Oak Furnitureland

Swindon-based Oak Furnitureland has been sold through a pre-pack administration.

The 105-showroom strong chain has been acquired by Davidson Kempner Capital Management, a hedge fund, as part of a fast-track insolvency process handled by accountants Deloitte.

Oak Furnitureland operates 105 showrooms in Britain and employs 1,491 people. Davidson Kempner is to review the business, which potentially could lead to store closures.

The business was launched in 2006 by founder Jason Bannister. It says it is now the UK’s largest retailer of solid hardwood furniture.

Oak Furnitureland chief executive Alex Fisher said: “The deal puts Oak Furnitureland on a stronger financial footing, enabling us to drive forward our clear plan for growth.

“We are a fantastic business with a loyal customer base and an omni-channel retail presence, and we are looking forward to working with our partners to ensure a successful future.”

The deal includes substantial new funding provided by Davidson Kempners’s affiliated asset-lending platform, Breal Zeta Commercial Finance.

Alex Fisher will continue to lead the management team and all 1491 employees have transferred as part of the acquisition.

Rob Harding, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: “We have been working closely with the management team under difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution and the deal announced today is a positive one which secures the future of the business.

“We would like to thank all of those involved in the transaction and wish the management team every success in now taking the business forward.”