Transformer maker secures multimillion-pound package to support MBO

Winder Power has secured a multimillion-pound combined debt and equity funding package from Connection Capital to support a management buyout of the business.

The firm, established 100 years ago and now one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of power and distribution transformers, has seen a significant increase in demand for its power generation and handling equipment and services with the switch to increased renewable energy generation across the UK over the last decade.

The firm employs more than 100 people at its 80,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Pudsey, and customers include Thames Water, Euro Tunnel, Asda and Drax.

The deal, originated and led by Harrogate independent corporate finance boutique CorpFin, will see the exit of previous private equity investors Mercia Asset Management, which has disposed of its significant minority shareholding.

Winder Power managing director Paul Mathews said: “This funding opens a new chapter for the business at an incredibly exciting time for our industry. The progress we have made to establish the Winder Power brand as the leader in the sector since our original MBO in 2008 has really paid off. We are now well positioned to enjoy another decade of growth, with infrastructure investment increasing across most of our sectors and markets in the UK at a time when we have an unrivalled reputation and capacity.”

CorpFin founder Chris Silverwood advised the board of Winder Power on the deal after a strategic review of the business and its leveraging during 2023.

Silverwood said, “The drive and focus of the management team over the last decade or so has brought Winder Power to a market leading position in a buoyant sector with significant barriers to new entrants. This investment is a huge vote of confidence in the future of the business by a very savvy investor in the sector, Connection Capital, and sets the business up for a very bright future and continued growth with management taking the bigger stake that they deserve.”

Connection Capital provides £3m-£12m of private equity and debt funding to high-growth businesses in different sectors across the UK and has previously invested in Virgin Wines, Wagamama, and TeamSport Go-Karting.

Bernard Dale, co-founder and managing partner at Connection Capital said: “We are always searching for UK SMEs with dynamic, experienced management teams to invest in and support. Winder is a great example. Its staff have unique skills and there are really positive market dynamics for future growth.”

Richard Moran and his team at Clarion provided legal advice to the shareholders in the transaction, Mazars in Leeds provided tax advice.