Endless backs James Briggs MBO

The deal marks the sixth corporate carve-out sponsored by the UK turnaround specialist, which raised £220 million for its third fund in 2011.

Leeds-based Endless has backed the MBO of James Briggs, a UK aerosol and specialty chemical business.
The company, for which no enterprise value has been disclosed, will be acquired from Illinois manufacturing group ITW. Endless is to provide additional funding to the business by investing in marketing, infrastructure and manufacturing equipment following the transaction. 

Founded in 1830, James Briggs’ product range includes paints, lubricants, cleaning fluids and polishes, which it distributes to the automotive, industrial, hygiene and other sectors. It employs around 200 staff and has an annual turnover of nearly £50 million (€59 million, $77 million). 

Jim Sumner

The deal will see Jim Sumner, who previously ran bus manufacturer Optare and truck maker Leyland, become executive chairman. 

“James Briggs has increased sales and profitability in recent years but it had become non-core to its parent company and this was naturally constraining its ability to fulfill its potential,” said Mathew Deering, investment director at Endless, in a statement. “Jim Sumner’s track record and knowledge perfectly complement the existing management team as we aim for strong growth in the coming years.”

Non-core asset disposals by large groups have been a fertile source of deals for Endless, which was established in 2005 to support turnarounds, property and refinancing situations. Recent deals have included Bathstore, acquired in 2012, and Acenta Steel, bought in 2011 and exited last March for a 6x return, according to Endless. Previous carve-outs comprise engineering businesses Amco Group and Davy Markham, as well as Irish paint maker Crown Paints. 

The firm makes investments from its third fund, which reached a final close in July 2011 on £220 million.