15/03/2016

Building contractor looks to build on success after management buy-out

A multi-million pound loan from Finance Wales has supported the management buy-out (MBO) of a leading building contractors based in Cardiff.

The three-strong management team of A&N Lewis is using the loan to take full ownership of the business as its founding members retire.

The deal is the second vendor-initiated management buy-out supported by Finance Wales in the last month with a combined total of £3.1 million of investment.

Established in 1982, A&N Lewis originally specialised in painting and decorating before expanding into building works for local and UK-based businesses.

Employing 90 people from its Ely base, the business now provides a range of refurbishment, office fit-out and new build services. Recent clients include Cardiff University, SA Brain & Co and AXA Insurance as well as the completion of £2.3 million Cardiac Catherisation Suite Project for Spire Hospital.

The investment will see  Directors Andrew Gentile, Garry White and Andy Gooch become sole shareholders. Having been with the company for  a combined 70 years, the team is keen to build on the business’ strong track record and reputation. Gentile explains:

“A&N Lewis is renowned for its customer-centric approach and that’s helped us build our customer base across Wales and parts of the UK securing a significant amount of repeat business. In recent years we’ve been able to expand our refurbishment services to cover specialist jobs like schools, fire stations and hospitals and we are excited about growing this and other areas of the business moving forward.”

“Finance Wales’ funding and expertise was key in providing the opportunity to become shareholders. The MBO will allow myself and the other directors greater scope to invest our extensive knowledge and experience of the business and drive the company onwards under new ownership,” Gentile added.

The management team was advised by Gary Partridge of recently launched Lexington Corporate Advisors. He said:

“A&N Lewis is fantastic example of a Welsh business that has real pedigree in the market place and a high standing in the eyes of all its customers and suppliers. I was delighted to guide and advise Andrew, Garry and Andy smoothly through the acquisition and wish them continued success in the future.

"This is Lexington’s maiden advisory transaction coming only a matter of weeks after Lexington’s launch and demonstrates our hunger and desire to work with successful Welsh based enterprises to put in place an MBO succession plan for Vendors. Finance Wales has once again demonstrated its appetite and ability to fund these transactions which is absolutely crucial if Wales’ SMEs are to continue their growth and development as shareholder owner managers approach retirement” Partridge added.

Finance Wales Senior Investment Executives, Stephen Galvin and Cenydd Rowlands worked closely with the team at A&N Lewis to structure the investment. Rowlands said: “A&N Lewis is one of the leading independent building work contractors based in South Wales. It provides a diverse range of building services across many sectors and has established a loyal client-base from the long-term relationships it builds with its customers.

“Having worked at the company for a long period of time, Andrew and the rest of the management team have the right experience, knowledge and drive to continue the business’ development and achieve new success.”

Finance Wales is able to support ambitious Welsh management teams who are looking to own their own business. 

“Vendor-related management buy-outs are growing in popularity. We’re seeing more vendors with the vision to upskill and support their management team early on which gives that team a better chance of success when they take ownership.  Finance Wales is keen to back all types of succession investments and we can tailor our funding to suit the individual needs of owners, managers and management teams,” Rowlands added.

Legal advice to the MBO team was provided by Matt Sutton of Greenaway Scott whilst the vendors financial and legal advisors were Stephen Lucey of Haines Watts and Phil Pugh of Acuity Legal respectively. Broomfield & Alexander undertook Financial Due Diligence for Finance Wales with Blake Morgan providing legal advice.