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PE-backed Ferreira de Sá acquires luxury carpet company, Desistart

Ferreira de Sá, a company backed by private equity firm Sherpa Capital, has acquired 100 per cent of the shares of Desistart, a Portuguese company dedicated to the production and marketing of carpets for the luxury segment, from its founders.

Founded by Henrique Ferreira and Rosa de Lurdes de Sousa Marques, Desistart has experienced fast growth in recent years thanks to the quality of its products and the entry into new markets, which has led it to double its sales since 2017, up to EUR3 million per year.
With approximately 45 employees, Desistart currently generates more than 80 per cent of its sales abroad in countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Holland and Austria. In terms of EBITDA, the company has high margins due to its luxury sector nature, which allows it to continue reinvesting in new product developments and increased customer service.
The fast increase in demand for Desistart’s rugs in recent years has led its factories to a situation of production saturation. The entry of Sherpa, through the “Unique Rugs” company, into the company’s capital will enable it to boost its growth by supporting the development of a larger production capacity.
Both companies are highly complementary as they cover the same product range, both at a productive and commercial level. In addition, they are very close to each other, which allows them to generate important synergies in terms of development of ideas, customers, products, suppliers, etc.
The company also plans to support its commercial development with new financial and operational resources that a partner such as Sherpa Capital can provide, and to develop new product categories for its customers.
In addition, the founders will remain linked to the company, maintaining non-executive functions, due to their extensive experience, knowledge of the sector, and the excellent business relationship they maintain with their clients.
Henrique Ferreira, founder and administrator of Desistart, says: “From the very first moment, Sherpa understood the project and Desistart’s challenges. It is very clear to me that the continuity of the company depended on taking this step, since Sherpa provides us with the strategic vision, management and financial capabilities, as well as the operational experience we need. For all these reasons I am very grateful to be part of this initiative and new stage.
The acquisition of Desistart comes after Sherpa Capital took a majority stake in Ferreira de Sá in October 2019, in what was the first investment by a fund managed by Sherpa Capital directly out of Spain. Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Espinho (Porto), Ferreira de Sá is an established company in the carpets and rugs sector which, like Desistart, also has a clear international vocation, generating more than 80 per cent of its sales abroad. 
David Foncillas, CEO of Ferreira de Sá, says: “The incorporation of Desistart will allow us to continue driving the growth of Ferreira de Sá’s international business by expanding the product range and reinforcing production capacity, enhancing the company’s position as a European leader in luxury carpets. No doubt, this acquisition is a first step in the development of our project. It will be an honor to be able to continue counting on the support of the current management team (founding family) in this new stage, who have a great experience and knowledge of the sector, as well as excellent business relationships.”
CSSM acted as legal advisor to Sherpa Capital in the transaction.

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