Manufacturer snaps up distributor in first acquisition

Chris Davies (BIL) Tim Batten (H Varley) Tim Murrow (BIL) Andrew Spring (H Varley) James Craner (BIL)

A manufacturer specialising in castors and wheels, backed by PHD Industrial Holdings, has acquired a distributor in the same industry.

The purchase of Varley Castors, who have a base in Shropshire, marks the first acquisition by BIL Group, headquartered in Wiltshire, facilitated by a £4.5m finance package from Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending.

Founded in 1938, Varley Castors, a third-generation family business, employs 16 staff across its locations in Altrincham and Shropshire, serving original equipment manufacturers and resellers nationwide.

The deal will allow for the eventual retirement of Andrew Spring and Tim Batten, though they will remain in their role as joint managing directors for the time being.

BIL Group specialises in manufacturing castors and wheels for various industries and materials handling equipment, catering to delivery drivers and warehousing operations.

Based in Daresbury, PHD Industrial Holdings operates under a ‘corporate compounder’ model and BIL Group stands among six trading entities within its portfolio. 

Timothy Murrow, managing director of BIL, said: “This first acquisition is a pivotal moment for BIL and is part of our long-term growth strategy, which is fully supported by PHD. Currently, both businesses supply different products and serve different customers. The deal will broaden our product range and give Varley access to our extensive range of materials handling equipment, which will open up new sales channels for both sides.”

 Philip Price of PHD said: “BIL was already the leading UK-based manufacturer of castors and wheels, but the addition of Varley makes it the largest UK-based distributor too. Since acquiring the business two years ago, we have worked with management to prepare it for growth. The deal shows the benefits of our investment model, which enables us to support traditional businesses like BIL and help them achieve long-term, sustainable growth.”