Investment group takes control of Wirral family firm as part of MBO

Bromborough Paints branch

Bromborough Paint & Building Supplies, the North West’s largest independent decorators’ merchant, has concluded a deal with Cairngorm Capital Partners linked to a management buyout.

It will lead to an expansion of its branch network and targeted acquisitions.

Cairngorm Capital is a specialist private investment firm with an expertise in UK building products distribution, manufacturing, and services.

Established in 1948, Bromborough is a family-owned specialist independent paint distributor, based in the Wirral.

Bromborough has 17 branches across the North West of England, from Shrewsbury in the West Midlands to Carlisle on the Scottish border, serving trade and retail customers. Bromborough also has an e-commerce platform, Trade 1st, supplying paint and decorating supplies nationwide.

It is the third largest independent paint distributor in the UK, with more than 100 staff and in 2020, achieved revenues of £17m.

Following the decision by Bromborough owner Neville Wellings to retire, Cairngorm Capital is acquiring the business and partnering with the incumbent management team in an MBO, led by finance director Giuseppe Alfonso, operations director John Ferrington, and commercial director Dan Peacock.

They will be supported by a strengthened board led by Jon Gatfield, who joins as chairman to aid the management team in delivering its strategic vision. Jon has considerable experience in manufacturing and logistics, particularly in the building products sector, including senior roles at National Timber Group and Sentry Doors.

London-based Cairngorm Capital partners with strong, ambitious management teams providing capital, strategic advice and operational best practice to drive transformational growth in their companies.

Its investment will enable Bromborough to capitalise on its significant market opportunities, allowing it to extend its geographical distribution with new branch openings and strategic acquisitions.

The first new branch will open in Warrington in just a few weeks’ time.

Additionally, in line with its buy and build investment philosophy, Cairngorm Capital will work with Bromborough’s executive team, sharing strategic and operational expertise to accelerate the growth and development of Bromborough’s ecommerce offering.

Cairngorm Capital’s investment was led by John Naylor-Leyland, managing director, who said: “Bromborough demonstrates all that we like in a partner – the firm has strong performance and heritage, differentiated product range, outstanding reputation and an excellent management team.

Current branch network

“We look forward to partnering with Giuseppe, John and Dan over the next several years and investing further in the business to support continued geographic expansion in adjacent areas, through both new branch openings and complementary acquisitions.”

Neville Wellings, Bromborough’s owner and managing director, said: “Bromborough has been a family enterprise since my father, Harry Wellings, founded it over 70 years ago.

“Given our heritage, my priority was to find a partner who would be a good custodian of Bromborough in the future, and one that Giuseppe, John and Dan could collaborate with to create opportunities for our exceptional employees. Cairngorm Capital have a really strong track record in accomplishing this so I am confident that Bromborough will go from strength to strength.”

Bromborough’s directors, Giuseppe Alfonso, John Ferrington and Dan Peacock, said: “We are really excited to be leading the MBO and partnering with the team at Cairngorm Capital.

“They have invaluable operational and investment experience in the building materials sector, which we look forward to drawing on. Together, as partners, we will have the resources and the expertise to take Bromborough to the next stage in its development.”