Pharmaceutical packager ONFAB lands £3m investment

Managing director Oliver Nulty, right), and colleague Mike Brown demonstrate the company’s products

Middlewich, Cheshire-based engineering company ONFAB has secured an investment of £3m from Foresight Group.

ONFAB designs and makes flexible containment packaging, primarily for use in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

It was founded in 2004 by managing director Oliver Nulty, a former AstraZeneca engineer, who spotted the market opportunity created by increasing health and safety regulations which made containment a higher priority, specifically in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

Today, the total global containment market is valued at around £320m, with an estimated growth rate of 10% to 20% a year.

With the Foresight Regional Investment Fund investment, ONFAB, which has around 20 staff and annual revenues of around £3m, will continue to expand domestically and overseas, supported by an expanded management and sales team and a renewed focus on new product development, production and operations.

Foresight’s investment will also support the launch of a second manufacturing facility in Albacete, Spain. Once fully operational the Spanish facility will double production capacity.

The investment represents the seventh investment from the Foresight Regional Investment Fund, which is successfully supporting high growth SMEs across the North West. Foresight works closely with management teams and vendors to flexibly structure investments to help teams realise value from their business and accelerate growth.

ONFAB was advised by Butcher and Barlow (legal), Josolyne & Co (accountants) and BCMS Northern (adviser). Foresight was advised by RW Blears (legal), Rafalie Corporate Finance (financial), PMSI (commercial), Catalysis Advisory (management) and banking services were provided by RBS Corporate transactions team, North & Scotland.

Chris Wardle, investment manager, Foresight Group, said: “ONFAB has demonstrated consistent growth in recent years and this transaction is a model investment for the Foresight Regional Investment Fund.

“With a strong team and market dynamics there is a substantial opportunity for the business to grow, supported by existing and new client accounts, and continued international expansion.

“We look forward to working with Oliver and the ONFAB management team in the coming years, and thank the advisors for their support in getting the deal completed to timetable.”

Nulty said: “When a business owner realises that they need external support and expertise to grow and realise their company’s full potential, they are faced with a most difficult question: ‘who is the right investment partner?’

“I am delighted to say that our choice to work with Foresight and the Foresight investment team was the right decision. Their attention to detail, vast experience and commitment to our values have made a difficult transaction manageable and less stressful.”

Mac Edwards, BCMS lead adviser, said: “We are delighted to have assisted the vendor shareholders to get this over the line.

“Foresight is always keen to work with dynamic entrepreneurs, and its investment in ONFAB has the makings of a great partnership to accelerate growth. We look forward to seeing ONFAB develop in this next step of its journey.”

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