Barclays backs £135m Deb Group buyout

Barclays Private Equity, the UK-based European mid-market investor, has backed the £135m management buyout of Deb Group, a provider of skincare products and dispensing systems.

Deb Group, a skincare products and dispensing systems firm, has been acquired by London-based Barclays Private Equity in a £135 million (€198 million; $245 million) transaction.

Deb manufactures and markets occupational skincare products and proprietary dispensing systems serving the industrial, automotive, medical and commercial sectors. It developed its flagship Swarfega brand over 50 years ago, and has become the UK leader in the industrial hand-cleaning sector. The Derbyshire-based group has operations in the UK, continental Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.

The deal sees Bill Forrester, the former chief executive of insulation provider SIG and current chairman of housing developer John Laing, join as chairman. Barclays Private Equity has taken a majority stake in the business, while Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking provided debt facilities.

“The buyout will enable Deb to remain independent and provide a sound financial platform to continue its strong growth,” said Roy Tilleard, financial director of Deb. “Deb will continue to invest in skincare product development and proprietary dispensing technology and customer service.”

Barclays Private Equity was advised on the deal by KPMG and Addleshaw Goddard. Deb was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Travers Smith Braithwaite, while Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking was advised by DLA.

Barclays Private Equity has completed more than 300 deals in the European mid-market, ranging in size from €15 million to €400 million. Previous deals it has completed in the support services sector include the €44 million buyout of NCC Group, previously part of the National Computing Centre, and the £35 million buyout of PC-PoS, a provider of retail technology hardware and services.