NorthEdge Capital invests £25.5million in Fine Industries

NorthEdge Capital, the private equity firm focused on investing in businesses in the North of England, has backed Fine Industries Limited, a Teesside-based manufacturer of fine chemicals. The £25.5million investment will accelerate the capital expenditure programme to increase capacity and support the company’s growth ambitions.

Fine Industries manufactures high quality fine chemicals for use in the crop protection, pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals markets. Founded in 1977, the business employs 270 staff with a turnover of £40million for the year ended 30 September 2013. It has an international blue chip client base and exports to countries including Switzerland, Germany, USA, Brazil and Ireland.

The business was the subject of a management buy-out from a large multinational in 2008. Following five years of growth, Craig Morgan, managing director, who was part of the original buy-out team, is leading the latest buy-out backed by NorthEdge Capital. As part of the deal, Brian Davidson will be joining the board as Non- Executive Chairman.

The deal was led by NorthEdge partner Ray Stenton, director James Hall and investment manager Tom Rowley. Ray Stenton and James Hall will be joining the board as Non-Executive Directors.

Craig Morgan, managing director at Fine Industries, said: “Our business continues to deliver strong growth and has recently undertaken significant investment in our production facilities. This has been recognised by our customers who demand the highest standards of quality and safety alongside a culture that strives for continuous improvement. This has enabled us to extend our product and technical capabilities which sets us apart in the market today. The backing from NorthEdge provides us with an even stronger platform to accelerate our growth and move our business to the next level. It’s great to be working with a team that are as committed and passionate about our future as we are.”

Ray Stenton, partner at NorthEdge Capital, said: “Fine Industries is a high quality business that operates in a large and growing global market, with long term fundamental drivers supporting continued growth. As a market leader the business enjoys strong relationships with its blue chip client base. We are looking forward to working with the management team to support their growth plan.”

The deal is the fourth transaction by NorthEdge from its maiden fund, which closed at £225million in March this year. It follows investments into FPE Global, the high-growth specialist engineering firm, in February, Jigsaw24, the Apple and creative IT solutions provider, and Help-Link, the boiler and central heating installation specialist, in April. .

KPMG (Alex Hartley) advised NorthEdge and PwC (Paul Mankin) advised the company. Legal advice was provided by Addleshaw Goddard (Yunus Seedat) for NorthEdge and Bond Dickinson (Nigel Williams) for the company. Debt facilities were provided by HSBC and Yorkshire Bank.