The founders of The Yorkshire Linen Company have sold the retailer to its senior management team.
Husband and wife Ross and Kirsteen Leventhal launched the business in 1993 with their first branch in Halifax.
The Harrogate-headquartered company now has 43 branches, mainly in the north of England, which specialise in the sale of home furnishings such as bedding, duvets and curtains.
The deal sees Ross and Kirsteen reduce their shareholding from 95 to 40 per cent. The remaining shares are divided between the management team, led by finance director Linda Shreeve. The team includes Neil Bowyer, Stephen Edmundson, Julia Wilson and Jeff Worrall.
Ross Leventhal said: “We are pleased to stay involved with the business as our exit will be phased over the next three years. There is a fantastic, loyal team here and, as a family business, we want to support them.
“The aim is to strengthen the existing business and then expand towards 100 stores over a five-year period.”
The deal was financed through company cash reserves along with a short-term loan from the Leventhals. A new holding company, YLC Holdings, has been established.
Ross and Kirsteen Leventhal were advised on the transaction by Christian Hunt, partner at Langleys Solicitors in York.
“We were grateful for the support of Langleys, which made for a seamless transition and ensured that we as a business did not take our eye off the ball,” said Ross.
Christian Hunt said: “The Yorkshire Linen Company is a great retail success story for this region and we were pleased to help Ross and Kirsteen to secure a management buyout that opens up an exciting new chapter for the company.”
The Yorkshire Linen Company head office and warehouse is at Hornbeam Park in Harrogate.
Tax advice to Ross and Kirsteen Leventhal was provided by Garbutt & Elliott.