Bathroom fixtures supplier turns on tap for growth with BGF backing

A £60m-turnover manufacturer and distributor of bathroom fixtures and fittings has secured major investment from Business Growth Fund (BGF) for product development and expansion into new markets.

Founded in 1981, Halifax-based Ultra Finishing supplies bathroom products to online and high-street retailers, builders and plumbers merchants and employs more than 350 staff.

The business has been led by CEO Dave Cullen and commercial director Tony Woods since 2014 when, following a 30-year tenure, founder and former CEO Stephen Heys stepped back from day-to-day operations at the company.  

BGF’s funding will be used to support the manufacture of new products, the first of which it plans to bring to market in Spring/Summer 2017, and to target new growth opportunities in Europe and the US.

Following an introduction by BGF, the business has appointed Alan White as non-executive Chairman. Mr White has held non-executive roles at Topps Tiles, JD Sports, TM Lewin and was a former CEO of home shopping business, N Brown Group.

Mr Cullen said: “After a strong 2016, we are in a good position to accelerate our growth plans for Ultra Finishing and expand our international presence. The business has built significant scale over the past 30 years, and I would like to thank Stephen Heys and the wider team for their efforts in helping the business get to where it is today. We are looking forward to the next stage of growth with BGF as our long term minority partner, and are pleased to be joining a number of growing businesses in Yorkshire that are backed by them.”

BGF’s Richard Taylor, who will join the board of Ultra Finishing, added: “Ultra Finishing is a great company, with the potential and opportunity to grow even further. Dave and his management team want to explore opportunities to expand into new markets and we are really pleased be providing the financial resources to support this.”

The investment was led for BGF by Richard Taylor, Barry Jackson and Rob Johnson.  

Advisors to the transaction were:

For BGF: Pinsent Masons, DSW and Tax Advisory Partnership
For Ultra Finishing: Shulmans, CBF Capital

Squire Patton Boggs, partner John Alderton and associate Jenny Jones, advised incumbent financier Leumi ABL who supported the transaction and continue to support the business. 

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