Leading shower tray manufacturer, JT, has been acquired by Kartell UK.

Headquartered in Leeds, JT is one of the largest shower tray manufacturers in the UK. The brands focus on quality and innovation has positioned the business at the forefront of the UK market for the last 30 years and today it employs more than 125 people and turns over more than £14million.

The Kartell investment will enhance the company’s global offering and help to drive its expansion of the brand both in the UK and overseas.

JT’s leadership team of Paul Haigh, John Schofield (sales and marketing director) and Lee Walker (finance director), will continue to drive the business forward from the company’s Leeds base. Paul Haigh will take over as managing director from the exiting Paul Crossley, who will move into an advisory role to support the wider group.

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 £60million and employs more than 200 people across two principle sites in Bedford and Wigan. The group management team of Alex Norford, Erol Usten, Tony Whitley and Simon Beck will work closely with the JT team to develop both businesses in the UK and internationally, with significant opportunities identified to accelerate growth across the group.

John Schofield, sales and marketing director at JT said: “We passionately believe that this new chapter in our history will support us in a strategic growth drive.

“It remains business as usual and we’ll continue to build on our position as the UK’s number one for quality and innovative products.”

Alex Norford, founder and MD of Kartell, said: “I am excited to add JT to the Kartell family and look forward to working with the talented team at JT to drive the brand and sales growth to the next level.”

“The acquisition of JT will enable us to create a strategic alliance to offer additional value to all customers and stakeholders across both brands. An innovative approach to manufacturing will enable Kartell to help to continue growing the Export business that has been so successful.”

Paul Crossley, exiting Managing Director of JT, added: “After running a broad and comprehensive search for the ideal home for the business to compliment 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.

“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; I would like to thank them all.”

To support the acquisition by Kartell, Shawbrook Bank’s Midlands team provided a full suite of debt including invoice finance, stock finance and a term loan. Kartell were advised by Adrian Gare and Harry Walker of FRP Corporate Finance and Andy Pickford of FRP Debt Advisory. The shareholders of JT were advised by Pete Terry of Grant Thornton (lead advisory) and a team from Clarion Solicitors led by Rachel Dean (legal). Shawbrook Bank were advised by Irwin Mitchell (legal).