A leading Yorkshire laser cutting company, which produces components ranging from ice skates to military armour plating, has moved out of family ownership for the first time following a buy-in management buy-out (BIMBO).

Sheffield-based Mayflower Technology specialises in laser cutting, pressing, machining, welding and fabricating metals and other materials. Founded in 1995, the £20m turnover company employs 133 people from its seven- acre site and manufactures and supplies materials across a number of sectors including construction, quarrying, recycling, rail and capital goods. Its components have been used extensively by the Armed Forces as armour for armoured personnel carriers, military ambulances and warships.

The BIMBO, which was carried out for an undisclosed sum, was led by incoming managing director Henry Shirman together with the existing management team of Darren Bradley, Alex Geddes, Howard Kellett, Colin Riddell, and Karl Stewart, who will form the company’s executive board.

Bank of Scotland Corporate provided an integrated debt and equity package to support the move. As part of the transaction, Bank of Scotland Corporate has taken a significant minority equity stake in the business.

Mr Shirman, who has a PhD in engineering and has previously worked for Ford, said that Mayflower had great growth potential. He said: “Our strategy is a growth strategy. We will continue to invest in equipment. “Mayflower Technology has developed an excellent reputation as a high quality, reliable supplier. The combination of a committed management team, an excellent workforce, state-of-the-art facilities and a strong, supportive financial partner provides a powerful platform for continued growth.” He said the company would invest in a new 400-tonne cutting machine next month which would improve performance and quality. He said further investment in equipment would be made over the coming months and said the company would be looking to increase the export side of the business. Mr Shirman’s most recent role was as managing director of a privately-owned engineering company at Milwaukee in the US. He said of his involvement in Mayflower: “I was looking for a high quality engineering company which had growth potential and a strong management team and Mayflower Technology fitted the bill perfectly. “The family were interested in selling the company and we came to an agreement whereby I led the management team in the business. The finance partner has taken a significant minority equity stake in the business and both the management team and Bank of Scotland are in it for the long term.”

Colin James, Bank of Scotland Corporate’s Director of Integrated Finance, who structured and arranged the transaction, said: “May-flower is one of the largest laser cutting companies in the UK with excellent growth potential, making this a very attractive transaction for Bank of Scotland Corporate. Mayflower has got strong customer relationships and technical capabilities and skill within their niche markets which is a great combination for any firm which wants to grow.” Neal Edwards and Steve Hazelton also worked on the transaction for Bank of Scotland.

Frank Herlihy, Philip Price and James Dow of corporate finance advice firm Dow Schofield Watts LLP provided bank and management advice.

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13 February 2006

Source: http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk