BGF builds investment record in improving construction sector with £2.5m provided to leading specialist interiors subcontractor
In June 2014, BGF made its first investment in a South Yorkshire based business with £2.5m provided to leading specialist interiors subcontractor Horbury Group. At the point in time, BGF had invested c. £30m in the county to date via its Leeds and Manchester based local investment teams.
This was also the third investment that BGF had made in businesses growing in the wake of an improving construction market. In May 2014, BGF invested £10m of growth capital in TCL Holdings Ltd, an external property services business; and in 2012, it backed high specification scaffolding services specialist, SHS Integrated Services with £5.4m of growth capital.
Headquartered in Rotherham, Horbury Group was founded in 1993 by current Group Managing Director Trevor Wragg as a specialist subcontractor for the construction industry. It comprises three principle subsidiaries; Horbury Building Systems, Titan Interior Solutions, and MWS Joinery, and has a combined turnover in excess of £50m and a workforce of 800 people. Headquartered in Rotherham, Yorkshire, Horbury Group also has offices in London and South Wales.
The company provides internal fit out services including partitioning, ceilings, joinery and flooring to major construction companies including Carillion, Balfour Beatty, Kier, and Shepherd Construction. It has successfully installed a range of products and internal structures to public and private buildings that include student accommodation, apartment, hotels, schools, hospitals and major retail and leisure developments. Projects include the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham; Liverpool Library; the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University, Reading Railway Station; and Park Hotel in Nottingham.
With the UK construction market showing positive signs of growth, BGF’s investment will enable Horbury to tender for larger, and a greater quantity of, projects. As a result of the investment, the company expects to significantly increase its workforce in the year ahead.
Trevor Wragg, founder and Group Managing Director of Horbury, commented:
“This is great news for the company and everyone associated with it. This funding means that we can act on growth opportunities that we have identified as part of a recent strategic review of our business and market. Our core trades are seeing demand as the construction industry is returning to growth. Last year we opened two new offices in the South West and in Central London primarily to improve our service to clients in these areas. This investment has paid off, and contributed to the strong growth we achieved over the last 2 years throughout England and Wales. It’s great to know that the enthusiasm and confidence we have for the business and the future is shared by our backers.”
Andy Gregory, BGF’s Regional Director for the North of England, commented:
“Horbury Group is one of a small number of businesses in its sector with the size and scale needed to operate nationally; and as the recovery of the construction industry continues, it is well placed to take advantage of a growing pipeline of work.
“It is one of several businesses that we have backed which are acting on exciting growth opportunities generated by an improving UK construction sector. This is exactly where BGF’s growth capital is intended to help – enabling businesses to capitalise on opportunities that they might otherwise be unable to take full advantage of.”
Better Bathrooms crowned winners at the eCommerce Awards of Excellence 2013
BGF portfolio company and the UK’s largest independent bathroom and tile retailer, Better Bathrooms, took home the prestigious Best Home and Garden Retailer prize sponsored by Retail Focus at the eCommerce Awards for Excellence 2013.
The awards are a key event in the eCommerce calendar and within the Best Home and Garden Retailer category, Better Bathrooms went head to head with Victoria Plumb, Just Fabrics and World Stores.
The eCommerce Awards for Excellence in partnership with V.me by Visa and in association with IMRG, returned for its 5th year to celebrate excellence and innovation in ecommerce. Taking place alongside eCommerce Expo, both events combine to provide the annual networking event for the industry. The awards took place at the Marriot Hotel, Grosvenor Square and were an entertaining evening in the company of leading brands and influential figures in eCommerce today.
Founder Colin Stevens revealed: “I am so excited we have won an eCommerce Award for Excellence – this prize shows how much the business has achieved over the past 12 years and how important eCommerce is. The entire team are so proud of our achievements to date, and our constant ambition generates the motivation to reach greater accomplishments.”
BGF portfolio CEO crowned Young Director of the Year at the IoD North West Director of the Year Awards 2013
Better Bathrooms MD and Founder Colin Stevens has been named Young Director of the Year at the IoD North West award ceremony.
Colin beat three other shortlisted directors to the title; his entrepreneurial story and management style really does speak volumes on how to create and sustain a successful company. Following his win, he added:
“I am delighted to be named Young Director of the Year. It is a real honour to be shortlisted but to be rewarded with a win is like a fairy tale. I have a fantastic team at BetterBathrooms.com and I really want to thank everyone for following my ambitions to be the preferred bathroom retailer of choice. I hope my story and success inspires the next generation to aim high and never give up”.
Now in its 10th year, the Director of the Year awards celebrates the talent that makes the North West an inspiring place to do business. This year’s awards, which were sponsored by law firm Weightmans, featured nine categories, including the Weightman’s Award for Innovation, and overall Director of the Year.
Tony Attard, chairman of IoD North West, said:
“The Director of the Year awards are always a great event to be involved with, and this year was no exception. I’m very proud that in the last decade the awards have grown in popularity, and this year we received a record number of really high quality entries. Congratulations to all of the winners and those shortlisted, who have demonstrated this year that, despite a challenging economy, they have the drive and the commitment to push their organisations forward and really raise the bar for business in the North West.”
To date, BGF has invested £5.5m of growth capital in VTL Group in total since our initial £4m investment in September 2013.
VTL is a leading UK developer and manufacturer of precision engineered transmission and turbo components for the commercial vehicle and passenger car markets. VTL supplies these components to major automotive manufacturers including Cummins, Toyota, Renault and Nissan and also provides a variety of additional services including product R&D and prototyping. It is one of the largest precision contract manufacturing businesses operating in the UK within its specific niche areas of turbo and transmission components and serves a large and growing international marketplace
Formed in 2001, VTL has developed from a single product, single site European focused business, to a global operation, manufacturing multiple products and employing over 400 people generating annual revenues of around £50m. It is headquartered in Huddersfield, where it also has four manufacturing facilities and an R&D centre. In addition VTL has a manufacturing facility in Charleston, USA, a manufacturing facility in Dharwad, India and a sales and technical presence in Yokohama, Japan. VTL serves customers across Europe, North America, India and Asia.
BGF’s initial and follow-on investment is helping drive organic growth through the development of new customers and expanding the product range. Specifically, the £1.5m follow-on investment in January 2015 will be used for a capital investment programme ahead of commencing an eight-year project to supply engine components through Ryobi UK to JLR for use in its new engine platform. Going forward, acquisitions will also form part of VTL’s growth strategy with further backing from BGF.
Alongside its initial equity investment, BGF introduced Michael Baunton as Non-Executive Chairman. Michael has an extensive background in the automotive sector and joins VTL from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) where he was Interim Chief Executive. Prior to this, his roles included President and MD at Tenneco, President at Perkins Engines and Vice President at Caterpillar. He is also currently on the board of TT electronics plc and ACAL Energy. Michael was awarded a CBE in 2004 for services to the automotive and engineering industries in the UK.
Better Bathrooms is one of the UK’s leading bathroom retailers and was founded in 2001 by Colin Stevens. Colin started the business from his bedroom at the age of 22, initially trading a range of products online via eBay.
Better Bathrooms sells bathroom products direct to consumers via its showrooms, its main website www.betterbathrooms.com, and telephone mail order catalogue. Better Bathrooms operates a buy direct business model, offering designer style and quality products at competitive prices.
In June 2013, BGF invested £10m of growth capital in the company. In addition, BGF introduced Paul Gilbert, non-executive chairman of The Gym Group and former FD of Matalan as the new non-executive chairman of the business.
In June 2015, Better Bathrooms appointed Lee Ellis as the new finance director with a position on the board. Lee has over 20 years’ experience as a finance professional and has previously held roles as head of commercial finance at Halfords, UK finance director at ghd and retail finance director at Phones 4u. Lee has also worked for several larger organisations, including Rolls-Royce and Asda.
BGF’s investment in Better Bathrooms is helping accelerate growth by allowing the company to explore alternative source supplies, expand into adjacent markets and potentially into new global geographies. The company has also demonstrated an impressive track record of growth from £7.5m revenue in 2009 to over £40m in 2014.
Colin Stevens and Better Bathrooms have won 26 awards.