£2.6m investment supports family-owned faux flower company

A faux flower business has received £2.6 million growth capital investment.

Peony Flowers England has received the funding from regional debt funding provider Frontier Development Capital Ltd (FDC).

Led by owners Keith and Margaret Ashbourne, with daughter Julie Bates spearheading their Peony brand, the firm designs and manufactures premium faux flowers at a distribution complex on the Ruckley Estate, near Shifnal, operating alongside their retail store, designer services and coffee shop.

Peony is a key supplier to blue chip retailers in the UK and export markets, which include John Lewis, Dunelm, TK Maxx as well as TV shopping channels QVC UK and US, and TVSN Australia and New Zealand. The company also holds the worldwide sole rights for faux flowers under the Royal Horticultural Society licence, which recognises the botanical correctness of the flowers produced.

The multi-million-pound debt funding refinances existing facilities and provides working capital to support a transformational business plan which includes upgrading the existing distribution complex into a state-of-the-art logistics and fulfilment centre.

Julie, director at Peony, said: “This marks a new and exciting chapter for Peony, building on our solid foundations and enabling us to pursue emerging opportunities. By upgrading our existing facility, we will continue to transform and future proof our business.

“FDCs investment has been instrumental in accelerating our growth plans, which includes a new full ecommerce offering. We look forward to working with FDC, expanding Peony’s services to new and existing customers.”

FDC is a provider of regional debt funding, dedicated to supporting established mid-market SMEs through flexible long-term investments. The investment was made from the £100 million FDC Debt Fund, which still has capital available for investment throughout the UK.

Carl Perry, investment director at FDC, said: “Peony is a well-established family-run business offering a high-quality product through a sophisticated brand. FDC was impressed by the capable management team and stunning Peony design centre located on Ruckley Estate. As such we’re delighted to back the business with working capital to support future growth plans and look forward to working with them.”

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