John Spencer (Textiles), Ian Mankin Head Into An Exciting New Chapter After Management Buyout

John Spencer Textiles and Ian Makin team

BURNLEY, England — November 7, 2022 — Family-owned weaving group the Ashfield Mill Company based in Burnley, are pleased to announce the sale of the business and its subsidiaries, John Spencer (Textiles) Ltd and Ian Mankin Ltd. by sixth-generation owners and majority shareholders, David and Megan Collinge.

The two businesses have been acquired through a management buyout by Simon Blackley, a current Managing Director who has been with the businesses since 2009.

John Spencer (Textiles) Ltd was incorporated in 1971 but has a rich history of weaving in Lancashire that dates back more than 150 years. The company weaves finished products for a number of industries from home furnishings to filtration and components. The Ian Mankin brand was acquired in 2010, when the then owner of the business, and its namesake, was ready to retire. Already weaving with John Spencer, and a keen proponent of British manufacture, it made sense for Ian to sell the business to his weaving mill; safe in the knowledge that the team here would deliver continuity for his customers and uphold his values of ‘affordable elegance’.

The sale has been the result of 12 months of planning and is supported by HSBC bank, PM+M accountants, Napthens and Taylors solicitors. In a positive move for the businesses, this MBO means that the whole of the workforce has been retained and the business will continue to operate from their existing Burnley and London premises.

Both John Spencer Textiles and Ian Mankin will continue to be led by the existing senior
management team and David Collinge will continue on in his current role.

Exiting co-owner, David Collinge, said: “I took over the running of the business from my father when he retired in 1992 and since then, have had wonderful support from a highly skilled and dedicated team without whom our success would not have been possible. The buyout represents the next chapter for some exciting developments and I have no doubt that under Simon’s leadership the businesses will continue to do amazing things.”

The newly formed Ashfield Mill Group headed by Simon Blackley is committed to building on the relationships created over the past 150 years with customers and suppliers and will continue to trade on the same terms as before.

Blackley commented on the acquisition: “I have inherited a fantastic business, with an impressive 150 year history! As the new owner I’m committed to ensuring that the legacy created by David, Megan and their family is not lost to faceless investment. I wanted to be there to ensure continuity of the business, not just for our customers but for our staff and David too.

“This MBO will build on the success of 6 generations of weaving, the strong standing of both companies and their enviable position in weaving and fabric retail is testament to the dedication and commitment of David and Megan. With an incredibly talented team and a loyal customer base, I’m looking forward to steering both into the future.

“For me it is very much business as usual. The John Spencer side has some fantastic customers and, with David still very much in the business, I have no plans for huge change. My intention is to build on the strength of our weaving knowledge, continuing to encourage a new generation of weavers in Burnley and the local region, whilst also pushing the boundaries of skill and knowledge within the existing, capable team. In turn this will help to build relationships with existing customers and to further strengthen the fantastic reputation this company holds.

“We are a small but ambitious team. David, the team and I have built up a wonderful network of customers and distributors both in the UK and internationally, but there is still more we can do. I intend to build on this tried and tested blueprint to extend our reach into new markets.

“The reputation of Ian Mankin fabrics has always been around quality and value. Keeping both businesses within the same group means that there are no changes to the supply chain or provenance and our customers can expect that same attention to detail and great service as they always have with a friendly hello at the end of the phone line.

“It promises to be an exciting and immensely rewarding journey for me, our staff, our suppliers and customers alike.”

The acquisition of the business was completed on October 31, 2022.

Posted November 8, 2022

Source: Ashfield Mill Co.