March 13, 2013
Endless sells stake in Acenta Steel
Endless LLP has sold its stake in Acenta Steel, the UK’s largest independent processor and distributor of bright steel bars, for an undisclosed value. Acenta Steel can trace its origins back to the 19th century and this transaction represents the next phase of ownership for this highly successful supplier of steel products to nearly 5,000 customers worldwide. Headquartered in Willenhall, West Midlands, in 2012 Acenta Steel achieved turnover of £82 million across its six sites in the UK with 343 employees.
Other existing management shareholders have bought out Endless LLP, the UK mid-market private equity house that specialises in acquiring non-core businesses from large corporate groups. The transaction provides Endless with a return of approximately six times its investment in Acenta Steel, which it acquired from its former US owners in January 2011.
Acenta Steel has performed exceptionally well in testing market conditions over the past two years and achieved significant sales growth and paid down debt. Tarlok Singh, CEO, and Colin Mills, CFO, have led the management buyout, together with support from long-term funding partner GE Commercial Finance.
Tarlok Singh, CEO of Acenta Steel, said: “Having spent nearly 40 years working at Acenta Steel and its predecessors, I am absolutely delighted with the deal to take this prestigious business into private ownership. We have a remarkable group of people here and I am proud to say that our future is truly in our own hands. I would like to personally thank Endless for their outstanding professionalism, integrity and faith in our business, which is contrary to many of the popular myths reported about private equity firms. They have been a first-class owner for Acenta Steel, adding value throughout their tenure and have personally been a great support to me. They invested at a time when others would not and fully deserve the outstanding investment return that they have achieved.”
Darren Forshaw, Partner at Endless, said: “Our investment in Acenta Steel just over two years ago took place when its US owners viewed the business as non-core and the company faced some difficult challenges due to the volatility in worldwide steel demand. We recognised the long term prospects for the business and also the strength of its market position and its people. Tarlok and Colin have led the business through an unprecedented period of success and it is now in a great position to achieve long term sustainable growth.”
The Endless investment was led by Darren Forshaw, James Woolley, Indra Valeinis and Kerry Swain. Endless was advised by Eversheds (James Trevis) and the MBO team were advised by Gambit Corporate Finance (Adrian Jones), DWF (Adrian Cutler) and PWC (Karl Harriman). Funding for the transaction was provided by GE Commercial Finance (Drew Johnson and Paul Edmeades) with legal support from Squires Sanders (Paula Laird).