Finance Wales-backed business buy-outs triple in three years creating and safeguarding 1,380 jobs
More ambitious Welsh managers are becoming their own boss with
Finance Wales’ backing and to date the Welsh Government subsidiary
has invested £35 million helping them take the helm of 110
established small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
These management buy-outs (MBOs), buy-ins (MBIs) and other
management succession investments have helped to create and
safeguard over 1,380 jobs in Wales.
With demand for management succession funding from Finance Wales
having tripled over the last 3 years New Investments Fund Manager,
Chris Griffiths believes that buying an established business can
have significant advantages and is also good for the future of the
“The number of Welsh business owners looking to retire or sell
up is increasing, so it’s great to see more and more capable
managers either buying the business they work for or buying into a
business. This can be an excellent way to become your own
boss and often gives aspiring new business owners a head start.
“Established businesses often have loyal workforces and
excellent reputations as well as strong customer and supplier
bases. This can provide new owners with a springboard to
breathe new life into the business and drive it on to even greater
success,” Griffiths explained.
The House Nameplate Company diversifies for growth under
A six-figure package of loans from Finance Wales and Natwest
recently enabled Tina Smith to undertake a management buy-out of
the UK’s largest supplier of house signs and numbers and become its
The House Nameplate Company (HNP) has been handcrafting house
signs and numbers in North Wales for over 25 years and Smith has
been its Chief Executive since buying a majority shareholding in
“The House Nameplate Company has an excellent heritage as well
as a skilled, loyal workforce and considerable growth
potential. I’m now putting in place an expansion strategy
that will build on these foundations and it’s already opening up a
wealth of new opportunities for the company.
“I used my own money to buy into the business back in 2010, but
this time I needed additional finance, so I was pleased to work
with Rhodri at Finance Wales to come up with a suitable funding
package. He took time to understand our current revenue
streams, cost and asset base as well as future aspirations and
projections,” Smith explained.
HNP is known for its innovative approach, having launched the
original parcel letterbox which can accommodate multiple post and
parcel deliveries and Tina’s ambitious plans are already becoming a
With the volume of retail sales seeing sustained year-on-year
growth and spending on DIY in the UK at its highest since 2008, HNP
has targeted animal lovers with its Pets Made Personal website,
launched in 2014, while 2015 has seen the company launch Bespoke
& Beautiful, a home and giftware website.
On Screen Productions’ new management team set to build
on firm foundations
The senior management team of an established creative
communications and production company based in Chepstow has
combined personal capital with an undisclosed six-figure mezzanine
investment from Finance Wales to buy the business.
New owners, Vikki Byrne, Lydia Owen and Mike Dyson started
preparing for the buy-out 2 years ago, taking more responsibility
for the day-to-day running of On Screen Productions (OSP) and its
life sciences and healthcare division, OSP Healthcare, when
existing owners Richard Cobourne and Alison King announced their
retirement plans. They then went on to engage local financial
advisers, KTS Owens Thomas, early in 2014.
Having worked for OSP for more than 10 years, the team of 3 were
keen to expand the agency and win new business.
Explaining why the new management team undertook the MBO, Mike
Dyson said: “OSP was originally a corporate video production
company set up in 1993 and, since then, it’s grown into a
full-service communications agency. Having worked for OSP for
many years, we saw this as a unique opportunity to buy into a
business to which all three of us have a deep-rooted
“We used our own finance as well as a loan from Finance Wales to
fund the purchase and Alun Thomas ensured that we made best use of
our personal funds when structuring the deal. We now have the
flexibility we need to expand the business by capitalising on OSP’s
proven business model.”
Alison King, the company’s former Managing Director, is staying on
temporarily to support the new management team.
Griffiths has seen many of the established Welsh SMEs Finance
Wales has backed go on to even greater success under new
management. He believes that the impetus and drive of these
managers and management teams will make an even greater
contribution to the future success of the Welsh economy.
“Established SMEs are the lynch pin of numerous Welsh
communities, many are family owned and they contribute to the
long-term sustainability of the Welsh economy. When they expand
it’s not only good news for their existing staff, it also creates
jobs and new business opportunities for local suppliers.
“Buying a business can be a recipe for success with careful
planning and the right funding. We frequently meet potential
owners keen to take the plunge but who aren’t aware of their
funding options and that’s where Finance Wales can help.
We’ll work with them to understand the business they’d like to buy
and what they want to achieve to come up with a funding package
tailored to their needs.”
Griffiths is encouraged by the confidence he sees in Wales’
future business owners as well as their potential to make a big
economic impact in future.
Rhodri Evans is an Investment Executive based in North Wales
while Senior Investment Executive, Alun Thomas is based in
Llanelli. SMEs wishing to discuss their growth investment
needs can contact Alun, Chris or Rhodri on 0800 587