Growth potential clear following Winder Power MBO

WINDER Power, the manufacturer of power distribution and generation equipment, has completed a £6m management buyout backed by Enterprise Ventures and Bank of Ireland UK.

The deal passes control of the Leeds-based business to a management team led by managing director Laurence MacKenzie, operations director Andy Pinkney, general manager Paul Matthews and finance director Jo Evans.  Mr Pinkney and Mr Matthews were already shareholders in the business.

They will be joined by a new chairman, Harry McCracken, who has more than 40 years’ experience in the power industry and is the former group managing director of Viridian Power & Energy.

The deal provides an exit for outgoing executive chairman Richard Asquith and YFM, which backed a buyout led by Mr Asquith in 2005.

YFM Equity Partners has made a 5.7 times return on its original investment.

Laurence MacKenzie, managing director of Winder Power, said: “This is a significant transaction for the MBO team and underscores our own commitment to the business. Both Enterprise Ventures and Bank of Ireland were thoroughly professional and supportive right throughout the transaction; we look forward to working with them into the future. We would like to thank them for their confidence in the business. 

“We are also especially delighted to have Harry McCracken leading our board. His very significant industry experience will be of considerable benefit to Winder Power.”

Mr Asquith said: “YFM Equity Partners have been very supportive partners for our business as we have grown and developed the company. They funded a move into modern premises; encouraged the business to invest in equipment and facilities and grow its exports.”

Nigel Owens, portfolio director of YFM Equity Partners, said: “YFM Equity Partners has worked closely with Richard and the management team to help the business transform its growth prospects, increase employees by over 50% and win significant export contracts. We are very proud of the company’s achievements and we wish the management team every continued success.”

Established over a century ago, Winder Power employs around 100 people in its two divisions. Winder Electrical specialises in the design and manufacture of power and distribution transformers for use on electricity networks while Newton Derby supplies generation equipment for sectors including marine, rail and aviation.

Customers include SSE, Northern Ireland Electricity, Electricity North West, GE Energy, Inneos Chemicals, Air Products and Powerteam. 

Exports for Winder Power account for around 20% of sales.

The company is on target to grow sales by 50% to £15m in the year to the end of March 2013. Earlier this year it completed an investment of £1m in new testing facilities to enable it to compete globally.

Wayne Thomas and Paul Betts from Enterprise Ventures worked on the deal.

Mr Thomas, investment director at EV, said: “Winder Power has the potential to double in size over the next few years. The government’s target to generate 20% of energy from renewables, the need to replace ageing power infrastructure and demand from overseas markets all offer opportunities for growth. With its highly experienced management team, the company is well placed to take advantage of these.”

David Chell, director of Bank of Ireland UK, said: “Winder Power is a great example of UK manufacturing and export ability, all based around quality customer service and a quality product. Bank of Ireland UK is delighted to support Enterprise Ventures and the management team through this latest corporate milestone.”

Advisory teams from Leeds acted on the deal. Pannone provided legal advice to Bank of Ireland while Pinsent Masons advised Enterprise Ventures and Clarion advised the management team.

Hamish Morrison and Andy Haigh of BHP Corporate Finance acted as lead advisors and introduced Enterprise Ventures to the deal.

Sentio Corporate Finance and Cavendish Corporate Finance advised YFM Equity Partners and Irwin Mitchell provided legal advice.

Financial due diligence was carried out by MaxAim.

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