UK mid-market private equity firm ECI has today invested £12m in Croydon-based Stewart Group in a BIMBO (buy-in / management buyout) deal that values the business at £17 million.
Stewart manufacture and supply technical plastic moulded products for the gardening, home, professional catering and medical storage sectors. The company offers a large range of products in its portfolio ranging from garden planters and propagators, to food containers and specialist storage products for medical applications. The company employs 75 people in Croydon and enjoyed a turnover in 2010 of £15 million.
Richard Butler, who joins as the Group CEO, brings significant knowledge of the advanced technical plastics sector from working for leading manufacturers in the aerospace and automotive sector.
Lee Mowle, the current owner and CEO, will remain with the business as Managing Director of the gardening and catering divisions and retains a substantial shareholding in the company.
Three other senior managers within Stewart are also becoming shareholders in the business as part of the transaction. Ken Lindsay and Eleanor Blagbrough led the transaction for ECI, and Ken will join the Board following completion.
Stewart is a very long-established UK manufacturing business. Its clients include the major DIY stores such as Homebase, homeware stores including Wilkinson, wholesalers such as Booker, and more than 600 independent garden centres, with Dobbies among its clients. Stewart also works with a number of specialist catering distributors. Most people will find they have a Stewart Plastics product somewhere in their home, either in the garden or in the kitchen.