A furniture manufacturer that has been putting comfort into care for
over half a century has unveiled a new ownership and management
structure to drive future growth and development.
Yorkshire businessman and entrepreneur Anthony Ullmann has acquired Shackletons
of Dewsbury and becomes Chairman and Chief Executive. The business
specialises in the manufacture of chairs and occasional furniture for
the healthcare, hospitality and retail markets.
Mr Ullmann previously co-founded Autofil Worldwide, the manufacturer of
technically engineered yarns for the global automotive industry
which, at its peak, employed more than 200 staff at a
state-of-the-art textile R&D and production plant in
Nottinghamshire. It had annual sales of £45 million. He and his
business partner sold the company to an Italian conglomerate in 2012
and Mr Ullmann finally ended his relationship with Autofil last year.
“Since ending my 23 year association with Autofil Worldwide I have been
looking at a range of other opportunities, and in Shackletons I have
found a renowned business built on solid traditions of quality
craftsmanship from a talented and loyal workforce and excellent
products and which I firmly believe has great potential for growth
over the coming years.
“We aim to be a business that is proud of its famous heritage but one which
is firmly focused on the future with a design-led, customer-focused
approach that will produce high quality products and matching
customer service standards to both contract and retail customers.”
Mr Ullmann acquired the company from Managing Director Martyn Higgins who will
remain with the business to support the management and sales team.
New members of the Board include Chief Operating Officer and Finance
Director Andrew Allwood FCA, previously with PWC, ABI Caravans and
Capita. Dave Allanson, formerly North West Regional Director of
Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, also joins the Board as a
Sarah Thompson will continue to take a leading role in working on direct
sales and supporting the regional sales managers.
Mr Ullmann added:
“I have spent a lifetime in textiles, manufacturing and the supply chain to
an exacting client base and I believe that my previous experiences
within the demanding automotive sector demonstrate that success is
built on first class, design-led products and outstanding customer
service. This approach can only help enhance operations at
Shackletons so that our customers are not only delighted by our
products but also by the service they receive.”
Shackletons currently employs around 70 people at its Dewsbury plant. The company
is aiming to increase sales by growing its healthcare, leisure and
retail businesses as well as exploring additional opportunities for
new sales channels.
Mr Ullmann was advised on the transaction by Richard Moran and Sarah Harrison of
Leeds law firm Clarion and David Butterworth of Huddersfield
accountants Wheawill and Sudworth. Mr Higgins was advised by Michael
Crook of Wakefield lawyers Crooks Commercial Solicitors and Nigel
Bullas of accountants BHP Clough.
The value of the transaction is not disclosed.
For further information please contact Rebecca Hankic, Senior Account
Manager, Acceleris Marketing Communications Ltd on 0845 4567 251
Caption: Anthony Ullmann (front) and Andrew Allwood of Shackletons