Dunlopillo deal for Bridgepoint and 3i

Bed manufacturer Dunlopillo has sold its consumer products division to Hilding Anders providing a partial exit for 3i and Bridgepoint Capital. The deal is reported to be worth around GBP12 million.

Hilding Anders, which makes Slumberland beds, has acquired the assets of the beds and pillow business and the rights to the Dunlopillo trademarks in the UK and Eire. Around 80 of Dunlopillo’s 320 staff will transfer to Hilding Anders.

Dunlopillo will now trade under the name Dunlop Latex Foam. It retains ownership of the Dunlopillo brand in overseas markets and will continue to manufacture latex and other foam materials in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Bridgepoint and 3i continue to hold a stake in this company.

The deal will provide funds to support the expansion of manufacturing facilities. Richard Smith, Dunlop Latex Foam’s chief executive, said: “The sale of the consumer products operation is a key factor in our long term business strategy. We can now focus on what has traditionally been our core competence, the production of latex foam materials.” The business generates an annual profit of GBP2 million on a turnover of around GBP15 million.

The investors backed Dunlopillo’s management in a GBP23 million buyout in March 1997. Founded in the 1920s the company was then bought by BTR plc in 1985 before the MBO bought it into private ownership. The company makes beds, mattresses and pillows available in the UK and exports latex foam products to over 70 countries worldwide. Hilding Anders is based in Sweden but is active across Europe through brand names including Bico, Pullman, Ekens and Billerbeck.