SOFA.COM has been sold to CBPE Capital, the private equity firm, after a year-long search for a new owner, the home furnishings group said yesterday.
In December 2013 City A.M. revealed that the eight-year-old group had hired financial advisers Altium to find a buyer to help fund its expansion.
CBPE Capital, which also owns the Cote Brasserie chain and the Original Bowling Company, is thought to have paid between £40m and £50m for the online furniture business.
It has also hired Justin Stead, the former chief executive of Aurum Holdings, which owns jewellery chains Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb, to be its new chairman. Gareth Williams will stay on as chief executive.
Sofa.com was founded by Rohan Blacker and the late Pat Reeves in 2005, after they sold their previous business, food delivery service Deliverance, to Active Private Equity for around £5.5m.
The sale will allow Blacker, who will remain as a non-executive director, to focus on expanding his new online decorative lighting business, Pooky.com.
Sofa.com sales rose 20 per cent to £20.2m in the year to 28 February 2014, while earnings increased by 48 per cent to £5.3m in the year to 28 February 2014, according to its latest accounts.
The group has showrooms in Chelsea in London, New York and Amsterdam. Last year it opened its first showroom outside of London in Bath as well as a new factory in Poland.