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BLP UK future secured after management buy-out

Published: 23rd April 2009

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Pictured left to right: Matt Ainsworth (DLA Piper), David Forrest (Ingram Forrest Corporate Finance), David Fletcher, Bridie Warner-Adsetts, Andrew Thorpe (BLP Furniture Components), Ian Waterfield (SYIF), John Longstaff (Ingram Forrest Corporate Finance).

The future of UK’s largest manufacturer of furniture components for the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom markets has been secured following a management buyout (MBO).

Bridie Warner-Adsetts and Andrew Thorpe completed the MBO of Kirk Sandall-based BLP UK Limited. 

South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) provided the equity funding for the deal along with asset-backed lending from Centric Commercial Finance, while Invest in Doncaster was instrumental in securing support from Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council for the buyout. 

Bridie Warner-Adsetts, managing director of the newly named BLP Furniture Components Limited, said: “This deal is an important one for the region and also for UK manufacturing generally as it secures a longstanding and well-regarded business, employing more than 100 skilled workers in Doncaster. 

“Through our continuing focus on manufacturing excellence, service, quality and design, we are confident that the business will flourish under its new ownership. 

“It is testament to the goodwill of our customers, suppliers and employees that the business has traded through administration to a successful outcome with little or no disruption to customers.”

David Fletcher, former chairman and chief executive of Sheffield Forgemasters, joins the board as non-executive chairman. 

Ian Waterfield, SYIF Investment Manager, added: “We are delighted to have backed an excellent management team and an important South Yorkshire business in a deal which retains significant employment in the region.”

Andrew Thorpe, finance director at BLP UK, says: “In a difficult funding environment, it was encouraging that our funders saw the obvious potential within the business. SYIF has been very supportive and responded quickly to complete the MBO within a short timescale.

 “We look forward to working with them and with David Fletcher into the future.”

Lead advisors on the MBO were David Forrest and John Longstaff of Ingram Forrest Corporate Finance. 

David Forrest commented: “This is without doubt a significant deal and a great fillip for the region as it secures the future of a substantial, high quality business and releases it from the difficulties suffered by the former group. In many ways it is a deal which reflects the times.

“It has been a real pleasure to see the transaction through to a successful completion and to work with an outstanding and dedicated management team in whom we have every confidence.”

An all Yorkshire team of advisors included James Bullock and Emma Garth of Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield, who provided legal advice to SYIF and Duncan Mosley, Matt Ainsworth and Mike Swift from the Sheffield office of DLA Piper, who provided advised the management team.

SYIF can provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

For more information about South Yorkshire Investment Fund, please visit www.syif.com or ring 01709 386377. 

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).