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Equistone achieves 2.5x multiple with Allied Glass exit

11 nov. 2013

Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”) has completed the sale of Yorkshire-based glass container manufacturer Allied Glass, which sees CBPE Capital reacquire a former portfolio business.

Equistone’s Fund III supported the management team when it acquired a majority share in 2010 as part of a £75 million management buyout.

The company, which employs over 650 people across two factory sites in Leeds and Knottingley, is the UK’s fourth largest glass bottle manufacturer by volume and a leader in specialist bottles serving the high-end global spirits industry. Allied specialises in the production of complex bottles and supplies containers to world-leading brands including Johnny Walker, MaCallan and Smirnoff vodka.

During the three-year investment period, Allied Glass has consistently performed well, delivering strong year-on-year growth. Equistone has worked closely with managing director Alan Henderson and the rest of the management team in focusing the business towards the premium spirit sector and helping accelerate international exports.

The firm completed a multi-million pound investment into its site in Knottingley to boost production and keep up with demand earlier this year. The investment supported a new decoration facility and the recruitment of James Hart as finance director to strengthen the senior management team.

This transaction will see the management team retain a significant stake in the business with a continued focus on growing revenue from existing end markets.

Steve O’Hare, partner at Equistone and Non-Executive director at Allied Glass, said: “It has been a pleasure working with an extremely talented and entrepreneurial team at Allied Glass. The business has grown strongly over the last few years by putting the customer at the heart of everything it does, investing significantly in operational capability and expanding its product offering. Alan and the rest of the team have firmly positioned the business for further growth and we wish them well for the future.”

Alan Henderson, managing director at Allied Glass, commented: “Equistone has been an ideal partner for the business during this expansion period. We have focused the business on achieving quality and sustainable organic growth while strengthening relationships with our customers. It has been a very enjoyable period working with Steve and Equistone and we are looking forward to working with CBPE again. We have known them for many years and are confident that they are the right partner as we enter the next phase of our development.”

A team at Rothschild advised shareholders, led by director Stephen Moore, managing director Andrew Thomas, assistant director Rob Dunnett and associate Amy Bashforth.

Deloitte’s transaction services team comprising partner Richard Bell and director Dan Wright in Manchester and partner Matt Henderson in Leeds provided financial, tax, environmental and health and safety due diligence. Commercial due diligence was provided by Roland Berger Consultancy.

Eversheds, led by Leeds partners Robin Skelton and David Milne provided legal advice to Equistone, while Yunus Seedat from Addleshaw Goddard in Leeds advised CBPE.

Incumbent banks HSBC and Lloyds TSB were joined by Investec and GE in providing senior debt facilities.

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