Private equity investors complete secondary buyout of £12m-turnover firm

Leengate management acquire firm from YFM Equity Partners

Leeds-headquartered private equity investors YFM Equity Partners have completed a secondary buyout of a specialist wholesaler.

Alfreton-based Leengate Valves supplies more than 20,000 valve products and is involved in specialist calibration and engineering services. It has now been bought out by YFM in a deal which will see the management acquire 100% of the business.

YFM initially invested in the company in December 2013 to support a management buyout from German industrial gasses group Linde.

Following the buyout, the management team Steve Pickering, Leigh Pickering and Mick Loseby, supported by YFM, embarked on major growth plans. As well as doubling turnover, staff  numbers increased to more than 40.

Pickering, managing director, said: “Leengate Valves has grown tremendously over the five years following our MBO, not only doubling the turnover but also the workforce. We would like to thank YFM for their support during this journey. Many thanks also to BHP, HSBC and Keebles who have been there to advise along the way.”

A team of Don Gray and Tim Brind from BHP Corporate Finance acted as lead advisors to Leengate. Gray added: “Having advised Steve and the team on the original MBO it has been an absolute pleasure to see the business grow and flourish.

“This secondary buyout demonstrates that despite wider political uncertainty, funding appetite remains strong for management teams looking to raise capital.”

Nigel Owens from YFM said: “We partnered with Steve, Leigh and Mick back in 2013 carving Leengate out as an independent business and it has been a pleasure working with them since.

“During that time the team have skilfully grown and developed the business, expanded its product range, invested in increased distribution capacity and completed a successful acquisition to nearly double revenues.  We wish the team and Leengate well in the future.”

Funding for the transaction was provided by HSBC’s South Yorkshire Corporate team.

Relationship director, Chris Alsop said: “Leengate has gone from strength to strength following HSBC’s and YFM’s investment in 2013. This has led to a successful exit for YFM and an opportunity for HSBC to further demonstrate faith in this dynamic management team by providing the senior debt to fund the exit.”

Paul Trudgill and James Burdekin from Keebles acted as legal advisors to Leengate. HSBC were advised by Dean Gormley at Irwin Mitchell and YFM by Peter Crawford and Emily Pogson at Freeths.

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