Crown Paints is an Anglo – Irish manufacturer and distributor of branded paint to the retail and trade sector. The business had turnover of £180m in 2010 across the UK and Ireland with a growing export base. Crown Paints has two manufacturing sites in the North of England and a network of over 135 Crown Decorating Centres across the UK and Ireland.
When Endless acquired the business in September 2008 it had been deemed as non-core by its parent, was heavily loss making and faced significant separation challenges from its former owner. Its parent had also been required to dispose of the UK paint business within a restricted timescale as a result of the agreement reached with the European Commission in order to secure clearance of another acquisition.
“This was one of the most complex transactions seen in the market for some time. We have worked with the team at Endless on a number of investments in the past and in identifying Crown Paints as a target, Endless has bought into a business that has strong development potential.”
Andy Westbrook, Corporate Finance Partner at Deloitte – Aug 2008
Endless was able to fully underwrite the entire transaction value from its own balance sheet and complete this highly complex acquisition within a multi-stakeholder environment and in-line with the challenging timeframe put forward by the EU Competition Commission. We demonstrated the requisite hands-on resource, expertise and professional and technical capability to find solutions to some pensions, transitional services, separation, IT, intellectual property and working capital issues which had precluded other buyers.
“Endless invested into Crown Paints at a time of great uncertainty for the business, in the heart of the global financial crisis of late 2008. This helped to secure over 1,500 jobs when the business was loss-making and considered non-core by its previous owner. The subsequent improvement in Crown Paints’ trading performance since that time has been startling and befitting a brand of its stature.”
Brian Davidson, Group Chief Executive of Crown Paints – June 2011
Alongside the strengthened management team, we continued to drive strategic change initiatives through the business to ensure Crown Paints was best positioned to continue to deliver a successful and profitable performance in an ever more challenging market environment.
The business was successfully sold to Hempel A/S, a world leading paint manufacturer based in Denmark, in June 2011. Although the terms of the divestment are undisclosed, the investment return reflects the scale of the turnaround achieved.