Private equity firm backs buyout of cleaning product manufacturer

Credit: Star Brands

Private equity firm Mobeus has backed the buy-in management buyout (BIMBO) of a £30m-turnover cleaning product manufacturer.

Star Brands, a Leeds-headquartered branded and private label laundry and cleaning product manufacturer responsible for social media sensation, The Pink Stuff, has attracted a significant investment from Mobeus.

The firm also has a manufacturing plant in Redditch and currently employs around 125 people, with 30 of those added in the last year.

The majority of the BIMBO team has already worked together, trebling turnover at PE-backed convenience food manufacturer Symingtons between 2007 and 2012.

The team is led by current MD, Tim North, and Henrik Pade, the Marketing and M&A expert, who will become joint MDs as part of the deal.

The team also includes existing management members Paul Kirby (Operations Director), Steve Whattam (Purchasing Director), Chris Dawson (Head of Sales) and Gosia Bilska Pietrasiak (Head of Technical)). Gavin Thomas (FD) will also join the team as part of the transaction and proven operator Nick Ward was introduced by Mobeus as Chairman.

Star Brands is projecting a 60% growth in turnover over the two years to August 2019.

The BIMBO is principally financed by Mobeus, with a layered debt and equity package.

Management was advised by Roger Esler and Paul Herriott of Dow Schofield Watts Corporate Finance (DSW) Leeds, who also introduced the transaction to Mobeus.

Legal advice was given by Dahren Naidoo and Fiona Woodhead at Freeths, Leeds (Management) Mae Salem and Paul Mann at Squire Patton Boggs, Leeds (Mobeus), Adrian Ballam and James Farrell at Schofield Sweeney (Vendors).

Due diligence was provided by RSM (Financial & Tax), BDO (Tax structuring), Pragma (Commercial) and Highwire Consulting (Management).

Ashley Broomberg, partner at Mobeus, led the deal, supported by Dominic Draysey. Broomberg said: “We are delighted to back a great management team at a great British company. This is the second time we have backed a manufacturing business based in the Midlands from our current fund – Britain still makes things and makes them extremely well.  We look forward to supporting the team as they continue to provide flexible and innovative solutions to its grocery customers as well as develop exciting new product ranges for end consumers.”

Herriott, Director at DSW, adde: “It is always great to see significant strategic equity investment in Yorkshire. The business is one of the fastest growing in the region, going from strength to strength in recent years. The deal also sees the reunion of a successful management team, who we wish all the success in the future.”

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