sofaworksCOUpholstery retailer Sofaworks — whose IP court battle with DFS-owned Sofa Workshop is scheduled for next month — has sold a stake in the business to help fuel its growth.

The North West headquartered firm has raised an unspecified sum — reportedly in the order of £5m — by selling a minority stake to two backers; private investor Bill Holroyd and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Mr Holroyd is a serial investor has backed other companies including AO World, Warrington Sports Holdings and Millie’s Cookies.

GMCA is investing in Sofaworks through a programme supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). Both will take an equal — and also as yet unspecified — stake in the upholstery chain with the founding Tyldesley family retaining a majority shareholding.

Sofaworks — which traded as CSL before its rebrand which sparked the IP dispute with Sofa Workshop — wants to grow its store network to around 50 stores from their current levels north of 30 over the next half decade. 2013 sales totalled £101.4m.

Assuming neither party changes its stance, barristers from London Chambers 11 South Square and 8 New Square will argue the trademark dispute between Sofa Workshop and Sofaworks at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court late April, with a judgement due at the end of June.

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