Private equity firm exits building materials provider

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Mid-market private equity firm LDC has exited its investment in Sigmat, a market leader in light-gauge steel framing, to Etex, the international building products group.

Headquartered in Leeds, Sigmat is a provider of light-gauge steel framing and one of the UK’s first fully integrated offsite construction companies.

Light-gauge steel framing is a cost-efficient, faster and more sustainable alternative to traditional building techniques.

Sigmat offers design, engineering, manufacturing, assembly and installation services to a broad base of blue-chip customers across the residential, education and hospitality industries.

LDC invested in Sigmat in September 2016 to support its organic growth strategy.

With LDC’s support the business invested heavily in research and development, expanded its product range and opened a state-of-the-art 100,000 sq ft production facility and a new 25,000 sq ft Contract Support Centre in Leeds.

During the partnership with LDC, Sigmat also increased its UK footprint by opening new offices in Teesside and Elland; created more than 100 job opportunities to grow its headcount to 235 people; and grew revenues by approximately 75%.

The company has also shifted its approach to support its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035.

To help Sigmat achieve this objective, no waste is sent to landfill and the 3% of waste that cannot be recycled is turned into electricity and fed back into the grid. Its structures are also built using 42% recycled materials.

The transaction will enable Sigmat and its existing management team to drive further growth within the UK as part of Etex.

It will join the New Ways division at Etex, which aims to be at the forefront of the industrial, digital and sustainable transformation of the construction industry, particularly in the area of offsite building solutions.

This includes accelerating the uptake of light-gauge steel framing as a modern method of construction to strengthen its position and explore new opportunities in several construction market segments in the UK.

Mark Eburne, CEO of Sigmat, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with LDC over the last few years.

“With their support we’ve invested in operations to develop innovative, cutting-edge products, we’ve bolstered our UK presence and created jobs, and we’ve grown our business with our clients and the environment at the heart of our business strategy. As part of Etex, we’re now in a strong position to take this to the next level.”

Dan Smith, head of LDC in Yorkshire, added: “Sigmat is a Yorkshire success story – with our support Mark and the wider management team have firmly established Sigmat as a UK leader in the offsite manufacture of environmentally responsible building solutions.

“As part of Etex, they now have a fantastic opportunity to build on the foundations they’ve created and we wish them the best of luck on the next stage of their journey.”

LDC was advised by KPMG (Financial), Squire Patton Boggs (Legal), PwC (FDD and Tax) and CIL (Commercial).

Clearwater International were buy-side advisers to Etex. The team consisted of managing partner Phil Burns, partner Michael Loudon, director James Croxen and associate Andrew Royle.

Loudon said: “It has been a pleasure to support Etex on this landmark transaction. Sigmat is another fine example of UK-led innovation in the building products sector and highlights the continued market evolution towards more sustainable forms of construction.

“We believe Etex is an excellent home for the business and further evidences the strength of Etex’s commitment to become the global market leader in offsite construction.”

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