Party Pieces’ owner took control after call with ‘wonderful’ Carole Middleton

Leisure tycoon acquires Princess of Wales’ family business

A millionaire Essex tycoon who bought “wonderful” Carole Middleton’s Party Pieces business has revealed how he acquired the family-run company. Speaking on GB News, James Sinclair said “within 15 minutes” he was talking to the Princess of Wales’s mother about purchasing the business that fell into administration. James, 37, started his first business aged just 15 and now runs a £30million leisure empire that includes an ice cream company, nurseries, soft play centres and a variety of children’s attractions.

He took over Party Pieces for an undisclosed amount. Carole and Michael Middleton started the business more than three decades ago.

It had fallen into administration and was bought by the Teddy Tastic Bear Company, which is owned by Mr Sinclair. The 12 current employees will be working for him.

James said: “I had the call and within 15 minutes I was speaking to Carole. She’s just wonderful. She’s an amazing woman and really quite inspirational. She had stepped away from the business and she was parachuted back to help it.

“A few days ago, the adminstrator said we can’t do a solvent sale so you’re back in. It was a busy night and now we’re in and can’t wait to take it to the next step.”

James told the MailOnline that Carole would “still be available” if he wanted to discuss any new projects.

“I’m very excited by this new venture and we will be operating our own firm called Crafty Pieces within the Party Pieces brand,” he said.

“It’s going to focus mainly on products for children and be a spinoff of the Party Pieces brand which was set up by Carol and her husband and was a fantastic operation for more than 30 years.

“We started speaking around three months ago and we got on really well, she is an inspirational businesswoman, and she is very clever, intelligent and the Royal Family are fortunate to have her.”

Trading is said to have been severely impacted by the pandemic and the company is reported to have made losses in the last financial year.

James confirmed on Instagram that he has now taken over Party Pieces, which Carole and her Michael launched in 1987.

“The latest acquisition,” he wrote over an image of a news article announcing the purchase.

It is not yet clear what price Mr Sinclair’s firm, Teddy Tastic Bear Co Ltd, paid for Party Pieces or how big the remaining liabilities were.

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