Investindustrial, the Italian private equity owner of Aston Martin, has bought a UK luxury furniture retailer co-founded by Samantha Cameron’s mum.
Oka, based in Chelsea, is said to have attracted a cheque for more than £40m from Investindustrial, the Sunday Times first reported.
It sells furniture ranging from £32 cushion covers to £3,785 sofas, and plans to expand into the US.
Lady Astor, mother of the previous prime minister’s wife, founded Oka with designers Sue Jones and Lucinda Waterhouse. Astor will stay on as chairwoman, and Peter Taylor as chief executive.
The deal will net a chunky sum for Oka’s owners, who according to the Sunday Times include the Asprey jewellery family, former Lloyds Bank chairman Sir Victor Blank, and the investment office run by relatives of James Bond author Ian Fleming.
Investindustrial – founded by Andrea Bonomi, a member of one of Italy's great industrial families – owns other upmarket brands such as furniture company B-B-Italia and Perfume Holding, which makes fragrances for the likes of La Perla and John Galliano. But the firm has also invested in household names such as motorbike manufacturer Ducati and outdoor clothing label Karrimor.
Oka was advised by Cavendish Corporate Finance, which has also recently worked on private equity-backed deals including Inflexion's buyout of motorsport transmissions business Xtrac and Connection Capital's investment in insurance provider Tempcover.