aker&Son, the luxury handmade sofa brand, is changing hands in a deal that is likely to mean another payday for members of the Conran family, famed for its association with entrepreneurial design businesses dating back to London’s swinging sixties.
Felix Conran is one of the founders of the company and belongs to the third generation of the clan to take a prominent role on the UK’s design scene. He set the business up with his father, Alex Willcock, who was married to Sophie Conran, Felix’s mother and the daughter of Sir Terence Conran as well as a successful designer in her own right. Habitat, founded by Sir Terence in 1964, changed the way London and the UK, shopped for homewares and made the Conran family name famous.
The sale of Maker&Son to Inc & Co of Manchester completed on Thursday, without full terms being disclosed, although the Sussex-based firm was recently valued at £55 million and turnover its new northern parent has already passed £30 million.
Inc & Co also says it has “high aspirations” for the brand, predicting that sales will exceed £130 million in the 2022/2023 financial year, via an expansion in Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. It also plans to lift the number of Maker&Son’s mobile UK showrooms — which tour the country visiting clients and are an alternative to traditional shops — to 20 within the next 18 months.
Such targets make it likely that the deal will have generated a payout in the millions for its founders. Felix and Willcock continue to work for the business under its new ownership.
“The sale will enable us to continue our vision of creating luxury sustainable furniture. We are delighted that Inc &Co have seen the value in what we have achieved to date and are excited to work with them to write the next chapter for Maker&Son,” Felix said.