BGF invests GBP8m in iconic British design brand Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater pottery

BGF has invested GBP 8 million in British ceramics brand Emma Bridgewater, to support the brand’s UK growth and international expansion.

HSBC has also committed a GBP2.5 million debt facility which, together with BGF’s GBP8million investment, will support Emma Bridgewater’s continued growth in the UK, increase capacity at its Stoke-on-Trent factory, and be used for exploring international markets including the US and China, according to the company.

The deal sees Colin Porter join the board as non-executive Chair. Colin brings e-commerce, brand and international retail experience from his period as CEO of Joules and current non-executive roles at Moss Bros and Hotel Chocolat.

“We recognise that Covid-19 is creating immense challenges for small and medium-sized businesses across all sectors, cities and towns in the UK and Ireland,” said Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF.

“However, BGF remains committed to backing high-potential firms such as Emma Bridgewater, and we will continue to make new investments, supporting businesses and contributing to the longer-term economic health of the UK and Ireland,” he added.

Founded in 1984, Emma Bridgewater designs and manufactures hand-decorated pottery and home products. It was launched by Emma after she was unable to find the right gift for her mother’s birthday and to this day the pottery products are handmade in a renovated 19th century factory in Stoke-on-Trent.

The company’s products are sold through its website, own stores, as well as wholesale customers, including John Lewis and Next. More recently the Emma Bridgewater brand has diversified into glassware, stationery, picnic-ware, wallpaper and fabrics. Revenues have grown to over GBP20 million in 2019, with EBITDA of over GBP2 million.

“The company is well-known for relaxed, colourful, domestic pottery; our distinctive and friendly designs are also available on a wide range of home wares, beyond the kitchen dresser," founder Emma Bridgewater said.

"All our ceramics are made in Staffordshire deploying traditional local craft skills; we have grown organically over the past 35 years while staying true to my vision of beautiful wares, made with love and attention in a beautiful factory. I am personally very excited to have this opportunity to work with the BGF, with Colin Porter chairing our board, to expand our brand into new markets - and a new era,” she added.