One of Scotland’s largest manufacturers of PVCu and aluminium windows, doors and conservatories – Stevenswood – is expanding its production capacity and network of trade counters across the country thanks to a £3.5m investment of growth capital from BGF.
The £11m turnover business, which manufactures more than 1,000 windows and doors per week, currently sells its bespoke manufactured products through its trade counters in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Dundee and at its headquarters in Livingston.
The £3.5m investment from BGF will see Stevenswood open additional trade counters across Scotland, as well as expanding its kitchen operations to meet the growing demand for its quality products.
BGF took a minority stake in Stevenswood with Patrick Graham joining the board as investor director. The board has been bolstered with the appointment of David Pearson as chairman and Murray McGarvie as finance director.
Pearson brings extensive experience of working with institutionally backed manufacturing businesses. He is the current chairman of Nenplas Ltd and DPP Ltd. In his earlier career, David was the group commercial director of Focus Wickes.
McGarvie is an experienced finance director with a proven track record in both manufacturing and retail businesses.
The Livingston-based business was founded in 1997 by the current managing director Ron Hepburn and his now retired business partner Dave Flynn, initially focussing on the installation of windows and doors. It was the first company in Scotland to offer 70mm fully sculptured frames that are now the industry standard.
The strategic recruitment of director Duncan Murray in the year 2000 moved the direction of the business to focus on manufacturing its own products. During the last decade it has invested more than £1.6m in a new site and state-of-the-art machinery. All manufacturing now takes place at its industrial facilities on a five-acre site in Houston Industrial Estates in Livingston.
ACS CLOTHING APPOINTS NEW CHAIR
Leading formal hirewear company, ACS Clothing appoints Dr Teresa Robson-Capps as its new Chair.
Europe’s largest independent supplier of formal hirewear, ACS Clothing, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Teresa Robson-Capps as its Chairperson.
Dr Robson-Capps’ extensive experience in technology, retail and telecommunications businesses, and latterly assisting high growth companies in non-executive, advisory and consultancy roles, will help ACS to deliver its strategic objectives as it moves to develop its service offering and extend its international presence.
Teresa was Deputy Head of HSBC Direct Bank from June 2009 to September 2011. During this time she developed and implemented a substantial change programme, integrating sales and service with increased conversion rates whilst improving both customer and employee satisfaction. Prior to this Teresa was Head of Contact Centres for HSBC, a role covering 11 million UK customers from 13 virtual sites.
Teresa was an Associate Partner at Accenture from 2003 to 2006 and in the three years prior to that, was MD of The Customer Division at Reality, a division of GUS plc. Previous senior executive roles include Customer Services Director at Cable & Wireless, Transformation Director at Zurich Insurance and MD of Sears Retail Services.
Dr Robson-Capps’ appointment marks the latest corporate development at ACS following investment of £8.5m in January 2014 by BGF (Business Growth Fund) to assist the company in expanding its operations and investing in its multichannel offering for its retail partners. BGF invested £8.5m in ACS and its bespoke software business Xedo Software, which provides a range of software products to the hire and wedding industries. Xedo has recently relocated to new premises in the centre of Glasgow and is in the process of recruiting additional software developers as part of its expansion plans.
Dr Robson-Capps was introduced to ACS by BGF’s Talent Network, which identified her as a highly regarded individual who would be a significant addition to ACS’s Board.
On the appointment, Richard Freedman, CEO of ACS Clothing commented:
“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Teresa as our new Chair. As a result of BGF’s investment and our own excellent reputation within our industry, we have secured a first rate individual and we look forward to making the most of Teresa’s extensive experience and track record of delivering significant shareholder value.”
Dr Teresa Robson-Capps added: “I am delighted to be taking on this appointment. ACS is a young and extremely dynamic company with a very exciting future. Under Richard’s leadership it has grown substantially in recent years, and I look forward to the chance to contribute to its further success.”
ACS Clothing was established in Glasgow in 1997 by Richard Freedman and his father, Joseph. The business soon expanded initially focussing on the hire of highland wear to the Scottish market, before expanding into formalwear and evening wear across the UK. ACS Clothing has exclusive supplier agreements with retailers including Debenhams, Austin Reed, Greenwoods, Slaters Menswear and Burton as well as its own brand Cameron Ross.
Located in purpose-built facilities spanning 190,000 sq. ft. at Eurocentral, just outside Glasgow, the £11.5m business employs around 100 people. ACS stocks more than three million garments and processed in the region of 400,000 UK orders during 2013, with the wedding season being the period of highest demand. Stock control and garment sorting is completely automated using bespoke technology created by Durkopp allowing ACS to sort and process 5,000 items simultaneously. All garment dry cleaning and maintenance is carried out on the premises.
Mobile telecoms service provider Mono Consultants set to expand with £7m BGF investment
In February 2014, BGF backed the management team of Mono Consultants, one of the largest providers of network support services to the UK mobile telecoms sector.
Headquartered in Glasgow with more than 200 employees operating from eight locations across the UK and Ireland, Mono offers a complete range of end-to-end support services to its network operator clients. Services provided include acquisition and planning; design, build and rigging; integration and commissioning of radio equipment; site maintenance; site decommissioning and, increasingly, programme and project management.
Mono’s clients include the UK’s leading network operators, network operators’ consolidation entities and the main equipment vendors. The business has grown significantly over the past five years and is seeking to continue on this path with turnover of £40m forecast in 2015.
BGF took a minority stake and BGF Investment Director, Duncan Macrae, joined the board.
Created in its present form in 2002, but with its origins dating back to the deregulation of the telecoms market in the mid-1980s, Mono has, over the past decade, significantly increased the range of services offered, has evolved from a regional supplier to a national supplier of these services and has been involved in the delivery of many large, multi discipline projects for its clients.
CEO of Mono, Brian Dougherty, who joined the business when it was formed in 2002 and who has been the CEO since 2007, explained:
“The mobile telecoms market is experiencing a period of unprecedented activity driven by a combination of the introduction of 4g services and the consolidation of the operators’ radio networks as they strive to improve customer experience through both coverage and quality of service whilst controlling and minimising their future operating expenditure.
“Mono has to provide the entire range of services needed by our customers in order that they can obtain the maximum operational, time and cost efficiencies that come from having an end to end service provider.
“Technology change is one of the key drivers for our business and we see this growth continuing through 4g and, in due course, with the introduction of 5g.
“Mono continues to have an excellent and supportive relationship with its bank, HSBC, but the longer-term predictability that is provided by BGF’s growth capital enables us to accommodate the mobilisation and working capital requirements of the growth and development opportunities that are available to us.
“The BGF team have, since the outset, shown an enthusiasm for our business and we look forward to working with them. ”
Duncan Macrae, BGF’s Investment Director who joined the Mono board, said:
“Mono is a market leader that has maintained long standing relationships with its customers thanks to its reliable service and its ability to react quickly and adapt to change in the telecoms market. We look forward to working with Brian Dougherty and his experienced management.”
BGF first invested in Europe’s largest independent supplier of formal hirewear ACS and its bespoke software business Xedo in January 2015. In September 2015, we provided another £8.5m funding bringing our total investment in the business to £17.3m.
Richard Freedman and his father, Joe, founded ACS Clothing in 1997, building on Joe’s years of experience in running Gilt-Edged, a menswear store in Glasgow. The company took over Blackburn-based Etiquette Formal Hire in April 2011 and lists Debenhams, Slaters, Austin Reed and Burton among its clients, along with its own brand, Cameron Ross. ACS is now located in purpose-built facilities spanning 190,000 sq ft at Eurocentral, just outside Glasgow.
BGF’s funding is being used to support the expansion of its operations, including its multichannel offering for retail partners. ACS is looking to replicate its success in the US by establishing operations and recruiting a team to service the US wedding and prom mark. The company has signed a lease on a 244,000sq ft distribution facility in Memphis, Tennessee, near its shipping partner FedEx, to deliver its formalwear direct to its customers across the US.
Dr Teresa Robson-Capps, a former deputy head of HSBC Direct Bank, joined ACS Clothing in January 2014 as the chair of its board, bringing with her experience gained at companies including Accenture, Cable & Wireless, Great Universal Stores, Sears Retail Services, and Zurich Insurance.
Gemma joined BGF in August 2013 and is based in the Edinburgh office. Gemma’s main role is to identify and successfully execute investments for BGF across the Central Belt of Scotland. As part of her role, she works with the boards of ACS Clothing, Mono Global Group and Stevenswood.
Prior to joining BGF, Gemma worked at Maven Capital Partners for four years and was based in their Glasgow office. At Maven she was involved in executing and completing private equity transactions, including mezzanine finance to Scottish SMEs across multiple sectors and assisted with successfully securing fund management mandates.
Gemma began her career as a corporate solicitor at DLA Piper Scotland, where she was involved with private equity and M&A transactions. She has an LLB Honours Degree and Diploma in Legal Practice from Edinburgh University.
“The best part of my role at BGF is meeting ambitious entrepreneurs, getting to understand how their businesses operate and then working with them to deliver their growth plans – you learn something new from every company you meet.”