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Man playing snooker on a snooker table

Vespa Capital announces the sale of WSP Textiles

May 2016

WSP Textiles is the leading manufacturer of premium quality billiard and tennis ball cloth.  Based at Stroud in Gloucestershire, WSP has been making billiard and tennis ball cloth for over a hundred years.  Its Strachan range of traditional snooker and English pool cloth is complemented by fine worsted cloth for the American pool and Russian pyramid markets, and its Playne’s tennis ball cloth range is the choice of the majority of leading manufacturers and brands in the tennis industry.  WSP cloth is used at various high profile tournaments including the recent Dafabet Masters 2016 (World Snooker) and the current Australian Open (Tennis).

Vespa Capital has supported WSP Textiles through a programme of ongoing investment in new plant and equipment in order to increase capacity, improve manufacturing efficiencies, and to enable the development of new products.  In addition, Vespa Capital has supported management efforts to increase sales to important and growing markets in the Far East including establishing representation in Beijing.

Iwan Simonis is a leading manufacturer of premium quality worsted billiard cloth and Saluc is the global leader in the manufacture of billiard balls.  Simonis™ is a well-established cloth brand in cue sports and Aramith™ billiard balls are used by almost 80% of players worldwide. Like WSP, both Simonis and Saluc have a long heritage in making premium quality products for the cue sports market.

Vespa Capital generated an IRR in excess of 30% over the lifetime of its investment.

David Smith, Director , WSP Textiles

“Vespa Capital has been a very supportive partner for us helping us in developing the business and our export drive particularly to the Far East, and by investing in systems and equipment enabling us to both improve efficiencies and develop exciting new products all of which set the business up well for the future.”

Nigel Hammond, Managing Partner, Vespa Capital

“We have much enjoyed our partnership with David and the team at WSP Textiles.  WSP is a high quality business and Simonis/Saluc is an excellent fit and home and we wish them well for the future.”