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DFS acquires Sofology

Two years after being forced to rebrand by DFS, Sofology, has been acquired by the Yorkshire-based furniture company.

The acquisition, worth an initial £25m was announced this morning, with potential further earn-out payments – it is subject to regulatory approval.

Wigan-based Sofology was previously known as Sofaworks, but in 2015, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court ruled in DFS’ favour, that the name was too similar to its Sofa Workshop brand.

At the time, its CEO, Jason Tyldesley, called it a “real case of David and Goliath”, adding “whilst we are flattered at being seen as such a threat to DFS – this judgement has sadly gone in favour of the big boys with big pockets.”

That appears to be water under the bridge today, with DFS announcing that Sofaworks’ management team (including Tyldesley) would stay on.

“This Acquisition represents a clear opportunity for DFS to accelerate our proven strategy of broadening our appeal, generating substantial long-term returns for shareholders underpinned by well-understood synergies,” stated Ian Filby, CEO of DFS Furniture plc.

“Sofology’s distinctive market position is a good fit with our existing brands. Jason and his team should be congratulated for creating a fantastic and fast-growing business and I’m looking forward to working with Jason and the team as they continue to grow Sofology as part of the Group. ”

DFS stated that one of the key reasons for the acquisition was the firm’s “strong web presence”, following a £5m investment in technology over the last 18 months. It hoped that this omni-channel tracking  and attribution, visualisation technology and personalised marketing content delivery, would be implemented group-wide.

Both brands are expected to run alongside each other, with no store closures.

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