OakNorth Bank completes £2.1M loan to West Yorkshire-based family-run, textile business, Europa Wools, to support a management buy-out

  • Europa Wools is a major player in the global textile industry, specialising in wool from New Zealand, Australia and Britain;
  • The firm supplies over one million kilograms of textile raw materials to the international wool trade annually – making it one of the industry’s leading UK wholesalers;
  •  The capital from OakNorth Bank will allow Richard Morsley to take 100% control of Europa Wools, while allowing his sister to exit the business;
  • The global wool market is projected to grow at a substantial compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% from 2021-2026, driven by technological advancements in spinning and weaving machines that allow for increased sales[1].

OakNorth Bank, the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has provided a £2.1M loan to Europa Wools, the West Yorkshire-based trader and processor of natural wool, to allow Richard Morsley to take 100% control of Europa Wools, while allowing his sister to exit the business.

Founded in 1988 by David and Lynn Morsley, Europa Wools’ expertise, which now spans more than 30 years, has seen the firm become a major player in the global textile industry, specialising in wool from New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain. The family-run firm supplies over one million kilograms of textile raw materials to the international wool trade every year, making it one of the industry’s leading wholesalers in the UK. Europa Wools is also a large scale processor of raw wool from its own commercial mill in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, which sees it supply manufacturers from all over the world. It supplies manufacturers both domestically and internationally, including spinners of weaving, knitting, upholstery and carpet yarns, as well as felt-makers, technical non-woven and home-ware manufacturers. In addition to offering market leading delivery times for customers, the firm’s stock-holding capabilities, combined with its sector expertise, make Europa Wools extremely competitive within the marketplace.

Richard Morsley, Managing Director of Europa Wools, said: “Since my parents founded Europa Wools over three decades ago, we’ve strived to build a business that knows everything there is to know about every kind of textile fibre available. This includes where to source materials at the most competitive price, anticipating customer demand, and ensuring we stock the required range of fibres to meet every order. This management buy-out will allow for the managed exit of my sister, Gina, in addition to powering the scaling of Europa Wools moving forward, as we look to further strengthen our new retail offering. It was great to see the team at OakNorth Bank take their time to really get to know our business inside and out, before then completing the transaction in only a few weeks.”

Al Morris, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, added: “The Morsley family are very well known within Huddersfield and across the wider West Yorkshire region, as a result of building such a successful business. Having been with the business since 2002, and part of the family that started it, Richard is clearly very dedicated to Europa Wools and has been central to its continued success and growth. With the global wool market forecast to see substantial growth over the next four years, driven by technological advancements in spinning and weaving machines that allow for increased sales, Europa Wools is in a perfect position to capitalise on this opportunity. Helping fast-growing, family-run businesses like Europa Wools achieve their growth ambitions is what gets us out of bed in the morning, so we’re excited to be part of their growth story.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

[1]Global News WireGlobal Wool Market (2021 to 2026) – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact and Forecasts

RedSky Corporate Services, Ramsdens and Brown Royd advised Europa Wools on the transaction.

OakNorth Bank were advised by Ward Hadaway.

About OakNorth Bank plc

Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible, and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle.

Since its launch, the bank has:

  • Lent over £7.5B, directly helping with the creation of 34,000 new jobs and 25,000 new homes across the UK.
  • Raised deposits from c.160,000 savers.
  • Supported several hundred businesses across the UK with the debt finance to pursue their growth ambitions.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Visit www.oaknorth.co.uk for more information.

Contact

Tom Pavey-Smith, Associate Director, Growth & Communications – tom.pavey-smith@oaknorth.co.uk / 0791 716 5588

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