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Profile Winter 2007 Newsletter

Furniture company is top drawer

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Pictured (Left To right) Steve Matthews from Yorkshire Bank, Accountant Alan Holloway, SYIF Business Director Andy Chaffer and Simon Nicholson from Rationalise/Floor TO Ceiling.

A furniture design and manufacturing business in Sheffield has secured its long term future after it was bought with the assistance of a loan from South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

Rationalise Ltd received a £75,000 loan from SYIF, as well as other funding from Yorkshire Bank, so that businessman Simon Nicholson could complete a management buy-in of "Floor T0 Ceiling". The business, which designs and manufactures fitted bedroom furniture and home offices, is based at Fitzwilliam Street in Sheffield.

Employing 20 members of staff, Floor TO Ceiling is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and, as the new owner Simon explains, he saw this as the ideal time to take over the business.

Said Simon: "Manufacturing has been on the decline in recent years but bespoke furniture is becoming more and more desirable and the demand for it is increasing. I saw this as a great opportunity to get involved with a business that has really strong foundations and a skilled workforce, but also has the potential to move forward. I will be working to enhance what has already taken place at Floor TO Ceiling and to help it grow in the market place.

"Without SYIF, I would not have been in the position to make this acquisition happen, so they have been a major part of the process. It has been great to work with them because it is a really slick operation and everything went extremely smoothly - they were helpful, knowledgeable and available which is essential."

The company was introduced to SYIF by Alan Holloway, Chartered Accountant - a member of the AIMS group of independent accountants.

Andrew Chaffer, Business Director for South Yorkshire Investment Fund, added: "We were delighted to work alongside Yorkshire Bank to provide a full financial package to enable Simon to acquire this excellent business. It is a new era for Floor TO Ceiling and Simon has some very exciting plans to help it expand and develop."

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).