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MBO at James Briggs

Published 5th September, 2013 by Neil Nixon

MBO at James Briggs

James Briggs, supplier of aerosols and speciality chemicals, has been acquired by its management team in a deal which will see significant investment in infrastructure and equipment. The deal has been backed by Endless LLP, the transformational investor in non-core assets and special situations.

James Briggs, founded in 1830, designs, formulates and manufactures a wide range of products including paints, lubricants, cleaning fluids and polishes for automotive, industrial, hygiene and other sectors. As well as being a key supplier to a number of global private label customers, the company also manufactures proprietary branded products including Hycote, Nilco, Autotek, Add-It and Antiquax.

The firm employs nearly 200 staff on two manufacturing sites in Royton and Chadderton, near Oldham, Greater Manchester. Turnover is approaching £50 million.

James Briggs has been acquired by management and Endless from ITW, a Fortune 200 global manufacturing specialist based in Illinois. As part of the deal, Endless will provide funding to invest in sales, marketing, infrastructure, manufacturing equipment and IT systems.

The transaction sees Jim Sumner, an experienced chief executive in the manufacturing sector, join James Briggs as executive chairman. Sumner previously ran Optare plc, the AIM-listed bus manufacturer, and Leyland Trucks, part of PACCAR Inc. He will support James Briggs' existing management team of managing director, Mark Lyth, and finance director, Simon Tuley.

Jim Sumner said: “This is an exciting time to be joining James Briggs and the aerosol and chemicals industry. There is huge potential for the business to develop both its private label and branded businesses in UK and overseas markets. In addition, the capital being invested as part of the deal will improve the operational performance of the company and this, combined with investment in infrastructure and marketing, will allow the business to realise its full potential.”

Mark Lyth said: “ITW's decision to sell James Briggs presented the management team with a fantastic opportunity to lead a buyout of a business that is industry-leading and an essential part of the supply chain to many of its key customers. The board is delighted that Jim and Endless are joining James Briggs for the next phase of development at a time when we see huge opportunities on the global stage.”

Mathew Deering, investment director at Endless, who led the deal for the firm, said: “We are really pleased to be supporting another north west manufacturer with a tremendous heritage. James Briggs has increased sales and profitability in recent years but it had become non-core to its parent company and this was naturally constraining its ability to fulfil its potential. Jim Sumner's track record and knowledge perfectly complement the existing management team as we aim for strong growth in the coming years.”

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