Altec Engineering, an engineering solutions provider based in County Durham, received a £6m investment from BGF to support its buy and build strategy and organic growth. The first investment was the acquisition of neighbouring business Ronco Engineering.
Altec Engineering designs and manufactures special purpose equipment and manufactures high precision CNC components for the automotive, aerospace, mining, defence and oil & gas sectors. Ronco Engineering is a precision engineering company based in Tanfield Lea, County Durham. Founded in 1992, it provides CNC manufactured parts to customers such as Caterpillar and JCB.
Altec Engineering is led by an experienced team and its major shareholder Alastair Waite, who acquired a majority stake in the business from his father. Altec acquired Yorkshire based Sigma Technologies in November 2014. Altec Engineering plans to scale-up its business through accelerating its organic growth plans following the expansion and investment into its Durham site last year and the delivery of new value-added services such as specialist coatings and through further strategic acquisitions.
David Bailey, former vice president of Parker Hannifin Europe, was appointed to the role of non-executive chairman following an introduction made by BGF.
15 December 2014
Cussins, a house builder based in the North East, received a £5m investment from BGF in December 2014. The money is being used to support the acquisition of land and the development of up to 300 new houses per year over the next four years, generating 500 jobs.
Peter Cussins, executive chairman, and his son Jabin, chief executive, remain majority shareholders in the Alnwick-headquartered business. For almost a century, three generations of the Cussins family have built more than 50,000 houses in landmark developments across the North East.
After a prolonged period of housing shortage in the North East, the Government’s revised planning framework is helping Cussins take advantage of an increased availability of high quality land in prime locations. With a strong emphasis on housing design that complements local surroundings, the business focuses on smaller developments of between 10 and 70 homes, where there is a high level of demand from buyers.
To support business growth, Cussins appointed Mike Stansfield, former chief executive of David Wilson Homes, as non-executive chairman. Stansfield was introduced to Peter and Jabin Cussins by BGF. Richard Taylor, investment director at BGF, also joined the board. As part of the investment, the business secured a £7m debt facility from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, whom it has banked with for over 40 years.
Founded in 2006 by ex-rugby player and experienced industry operator Jon Wright, award-winning Xercise4Less, one of the UK’s leading low-cost gym chains currently has around 250,000 members and a successful chain of existing gym sites, predominantly located across the North of England but with a growing footprint of sites across the country.
As a result of its organic roll-out, Xercise4Less now operates 35 gyms, employs over 600 people and has an increasing national coverage with sites across the north of England, the Midlands, the South West, Scotland and Wales, and has opened its first gym inside the M25 in August 2015, In Hounslow. Further sites are planned in London and the South East.
Uniquely to Xercise4Less, its gyms are typically located at large out-of-town sites with floor sizes of 30,000 square feet or more that offer advantages to customers over traditional city centre budget gyms such as additional space, more gym equipment and a wider variety of choice and plentiful parking.
The budget gym sector has increased the size of the UK private fitness market by around nine percent since 2011, with one in 12 people owning a gym membership. Compared to the industry average for budget gym chains, Xercise4Less’s members are twice as likely to keep their membership longer than 12 months.
BGF originally backed Xercise4Less in August 2013, with a £5m investment to provide the business with capital needed to support management’s 5-year plan, which included the rollout of new gyms nationwide. A new growth capital injection of £7.6m in 2016, in addition to further funding provided in 2014, takes BGF’s total investment to £19.7m.
Since BGF’s original investment, the Leeds-headquartered business has opened 23 new gyms. Total sales grew to £21.9m in the 12 months to July 2015, up from £12m in its previous financial year.
Richard joined BGF in July 2012 and is based in Leeds. His main role is to identify and successfully execute investments for the fund. He also sits on the board of a number of our portfolio companies.
Richard has 16 years’ experience in small company investing with previous roles at YFM, Octopus Private Equity and Sovereign Capital. He began his career at Deloitte where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant following three years at York University where he studied Economics and Economic History.
He is married with three children and lives in Leeds. At weekends Richard runs a free taxi service for his children around which he fits in time to play, watch and coach the beautiful game that is football.
Latest investments/Board positions:
- Total Recycling Services (Board Observer)
- Altec Engineering
- Cussins (Board Director)
- J&B Recycling (Board Director)
- Springfield Healthcare Group (Board Director)
- York Mailing (Board Director)
- Xercise4Less (Board Director)
- VTL Group
- Ultra Finishing (Board Director)