Private equity deal puts Midlands business on track for £40m

One of the UK’s leading providers of strategic manufacturing outsourcing solutions, PP Control & Automation, has received significant investment from Ardenton Capital Corporation, who now own a majority stake in the organisation.

L to R: Allan Dunn and Iain Marlow (both Ardenton UK), with Tony Hague and David Fox (both PP Control & Automation).
L to R: Allan Dunn and Iain Marlow (both Ardenton UK), with Tony Hague and David Fox (both PP Control & Automation).

The deal with Ardenton is expected to take the business to £40m within five years, according to PP Control & Automation, which employs more than 230 people at its facility in the West Midlands.

Current managing director, Tony Hague, has reportedly become a significant shareholder in the business as part of the deal and is expected to become chief executive officer.

While, founder, David Fox, will continue to impart his more than 40-years of industry experience in the role of chairman.

Ardenton is a Canadian-headquartered private corporate investor which opened its UK office in Manchester in 2016. It made its first investment into Corbetts the Galvanizers in the West Midlands the year after.

It is described as targeting “majority investments in businesses alongside incumbent management teams”, who it seeks to support in delivering “long-term sustainable growth” with “no intention to divest”.

The injection of funding swiftly follows PP Control & Automation announcing a string of new contracts which it expects will take its turnover for the coming year to £24m, including first orders for Hedinn in Iceland and new projects for customers in digital printing and the scientific industries.

Hague explained: “We recognised over 12 months ago that if we were to realise our aspirations of truly growing PP in the way we believed possible, we would need a new business partner to work with.

“Sales have increased nearly 30% in the last two years, but to take us to £40m and beyond we needed to partner with a long-term investor to really accelerate the growth. There were many organisations keen to invest in PP.”

PP Control & Automation turned 50 years-old in September 2017 and marked the occasion by securing £2m of new contracts.

It has grown into one of the world’s largest and most respected suppliers of electrical control systems and sub-contract manufacturing solutions to customers involved in the machine tools, packaging, printing, medical, pharma, scientific and food processing sectors.