A new owner has taken over furniture maker Canburg the parent company of Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson Furniture.

Canburg announced yesterday that a new owner was in place after a week of speculation that the firm was about to go into administration.

In an interview with business publication Kbbreview executive chairman Ian Gray, who took over from Leo Caplan in September, confirmed Canburg had been bought for an undisclosed sum by a company owned by Gary Barnett, president and founder of New York-based real estate specialist Extell Development Company, through a vehicle called Sapphire 700.

Extell is the company behind such iconic US developments as One57 and Central Park Tower.

The pre-pack deal was signed on Thursday.

Mr Gray, who described the new owner as a reclusive millionaire, said: “A new owner has bought the business and assets of Canburg Ltd. The new company will be honouring the existing contracts with customers and we look forward to a very exciting future.

“That’s an incredibly fast deal and gives you an indication of the fire power of our new owner, that he could make sufficient funds available to do the transaction that quickly.”

But he conceded that the firm had a lot to do both in terms of the way the company had been run and the way some people have been treated. He said: We need to change the way we do things. It’s very exciting – jobs have been protected, customers have been protected. It’s a great deal.”

He also said that money was “being made available to allow the company to develop and grow”.

The news came after rumours were rife at the Devizes factory that Mr Caplan was launching a takeover and this was reported by Sky News.

Mr Gray said that Mr Caplan wouldn’t be involved in the business going forward. “I can’t see what he would add to the vision that our new owners and the management team have,” he said.

A Canburg spokesman told the Gazette: "A deal has been done."