Bathroom firm completes purchase of shower tray manufacturer

Jul 04, 2019

JT managing director Paul Haigh with leadership team colleagues Lee Walker and John Schofield.

A MANUFACTURER of shower trays is preparing to expand in the UK and overseas after its acquisition by a Bedford company.

Kartell UK, one of the largest and fastest-growing suppliers of bathroom products to the independent merchant and showroom sector in the UK, has completed its multi-million pound purchase of Just Trays from Maven Capital Partners and its management team.

As part of the deal, Leeds-based JT will continue to operate as a standalone business, run by its leadership team, within the Kartell group.

Kartell chief executive Alex Norford said: “When the opportunity to partner with the team at JT arose, we immediately saw the strategic fit that an acquisition would represent and we are delighted to announce the deal.”

Founded in 2008, Kartell is the largest supplier of radiators and designer towel warmers to the independent and merchant showroom sector. It turns over in excess of £60 million and employs more than 200 people at two main sites in Bedford and Wigan. The group management team of Mr Norford, Erol Usten, Tony Whitley and Simon Beck will work with JT to develop both businesses in the UK and internationally. They have already significant opportunities identified to accelerate growth across the group.

Following completion of the deal, JT managing director Paul Crossley will step aside into an advisory role with the group. He is replaced by Paul Haigh. 

Mr Crossley said: “It has been an unbelievable journey for me: building JT into a real brand and market leader in the bathroom industry and there have been an awful lot of people in those 19 years that have made a considerable contribution.

“After running a broad and comprehensive search for the ideal home for the business to complement and accelerate the work we have done as a team over the last five years, we identified Alex and the team at Kartell as the right people to take JT on. I am very proud of what we have achieved and am equally excited about the opportunities arising from working with Kartell for JT and everyone here who has contributed to its journey so far.”

Kartell was advised by a multi-disciplinary team from specialist business advisory firm, FRP Advisory. Law firm Shakespeare Martineau provided legal advice. The vendors were advised by Grant Thornton and Clarion Solicitors.

Mr Norford said: “Everyone at Kartell is excited about working together with Paul and the wider JT team to address myriad market opportunities in the UK and Europe, building on our shared focus on quality and service to bring added value to all of the group’s customers and stakeholders.”

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