Piper Private Equity has taken a minority stake in 12-store retailer The Rug Company to help fund its international expansion.

The upmarket retailer, founded in 1997 by husband and wife team Christopher and Suzanne Sharp, has two stores in the US and intends to increase its Stateside business. It also wants to open more franchise stores elsewhere including Dubai, Moscow and Athens.

The Rug Company specialises in handmade, traditionally produced rugs from Nepal, India, China and Turkey. Customers can buy bespoke designs.

Piper’s Chris Curry said: “The Rug Company is a highly innovative, energetic, international luxury-branded business, with excellent growth prospects.

“Its strength in offering unique designs, handmade quality, customisation and outstanding customer service is world class. We look forward to working with them to grow the business.”

Christopher Sharp said: “We have some exciting new product launches in the pipeline, as well as a number of designer collaborations that will further enhance the range of rugs we offer. We are excited by the potential to expand the brand globally.”