ENTREPRENEUR Leo Caplan this week revealed that he has changed his mind about selling his luxury furniture making business, Smallbone of Devizes.

Mr Caplan said that back in December he had told the Devizes workforce that he was suffering ill health and he was thinking of selling parent company Canburg.

Five weeks ago he confirmed to managers that a sale was likely to go ahead. But then had a change of heart and yesterday travelled to the Hopton Industrial Estate, Devizes, to tell workers the news.

He told the Gazette he was now feeling confident about his health and business was continuing to boom.

He said: “There were approaches from potential buyers and I decided to take a look at them but I have now decided we will not proceed. “We have our largest order book ever and we are doing record sales in both the US and UK.

"Brexit has been fantastic for us as we are paid in dollars by our American customers and the dollar is very strong at the moment. “I am in a good place as far as my health is concerned and I look to the future from a very positive point of view, and that includes keeping Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson Furniture.

“Our order book is currently worth nearly £50 million.” He said that when he visited Devizes in December he gave all staff a £500 bonus. Mr Caplan spoke of his commitment to Devizes and how he rescued the firm during the 2009 financial crisis.

He paid £450,000 for the group but spent £7m on the business and did not draw a salary for six years. He controls 80 per cent of the shares, in the business so no one else can decide to sell.

Canburg has also built kitchens and furniture for One 57 in Manhattan, New York’s equivalent of One Hyde Park as well as the Central Park Tower, soon to be the tallest building in New York, and Steinway Tower. The group’s customers include Oprah Winfrey, Dustin Hoffman, Cheryl Cole and Robbie Williams. It produces luxury kitchens sold for £60,000 plus as well as home cinemas and dressing rooms.