European investors save 870 jobs

European private equity fund Nimbus, which has its UK offices in Leeds has agreed to buy the majority of the Customade Group out of administration and create a new group.

The acquisition with its financing source MidCap Financial, saves over 870 jobs including 30 in Yorkshire and provides a strong footing for the acquired businesses to face the post Covid -19 economic pressures and pursue the new owner’s ambitious growth plans.

However the deal does not include the Group’s Polyframe Halifax, business which it was described as “uneconomic to re-open”, resulting in the loss of 133 jobs

Nimbus, the majority owners of the new group, has experience investing in manufacturing with a track record of supporting management teams to build strong, market leading businesses.

This deal represents their second deal in the UK within the last 12 months, following purchase of the centrifugal castings division of Doncaster’s Group.

Alexander de Haas, of Nimbus, said “We are delighted to invest in the Customade Group. The business has a market leading product and customer service proposition but has faced unprecedented challenges in the last six months. Our investment will allow the group to recover and focus on a long-term growth strategy which will include significant investment in the manufacturing capability of the group.”

Nimbus was founded in the Netherlands in 1999 before expanding into German in the early 2000’s. It now has offices in Leeds, Munich and Zeist.

The new group management team will be led by Chief Executive David Leng who added “After an extensive process it has been good to find an experienced investment partner in Nimbus to save the majority of the Customade business in these exceptionally difficult economic circumstances. We can now look forward to a much stronger and certain future.”

On the job losses at Polyframe Halifax and Polyframe Livingstone, Leng added: “These sites were uneconomic to re-open and we were unable to raise funding in these difficult times to restart them. I sincerely thank everyone for their hard work and understanding.”

Customade Group was advised by Alvarez & Marsal, and Pinsent Masons; Womble Bond Dickinson advised management; and Squire Patton Boggs and BDO advised Nimbus.

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