Historic South Yorkshire manufacturer undergoes management buyout

Enact, the £30 million SME fund, has backed the management buyout at the historic Yorkshire engineering business Qualter Hall & Company.

The Montgomery Bridge at Canary Wharf
The Montgomery Bridge at Canary Wharf

Qualter Hall, founded in 1860, employs around 120 people from its head office in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

Its landmark projects include the multi award winning Scale Lane Bridge on the River Humber at Hull, the moving bascule bridge in Indonesia and fixed bridges in Belize as well as ongoing work with the Thames Estuary Asset Management team which includes work on the Thames Barrier. Other projects include the Montgomery Bridge in Canary Wharf.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Chris Cormack, the partner leading the Enact fund, joins Qualter Hall’s board and will support the existing management team. In addition, Wayne Bowser has been appointed chairman. Mr Bowser had a 40 year career at HSBC and held positions including regional director for the North of England and latterly as deputy head of commercial banking based in Canary Wharf.

Mr Cormack commented: “Qualter Hall was an autonomous, standalone business within the Austrian, Waagner Biro Group. It has a reputation for high quality design and manufacture and has undertaken iconic projects around the world. We are delighted to support the management team in acquiring the business which will allow them to deliver a number of exciting projects in the pipeline and fulfil their ambitious growth plans”

George Orton, managing director of Qualter Hall said “Qualter Hall has built up a renowned reputation for providing a unique service in the field of bespoke, turnkey project engineering both in

the UK and Worldwide, of which we are extremely proud. We are pleased to have supportive partners in Enact and look forward to an exciting future together.”

Enact Fund II, invests transformational capital of up to £5 million into UK based SMEs that have a robust business model but are facing capital constraints, strategic challenges or operational issues.

The individuals who comprise the investor base of Enact Fund II include entrepreneurs, existing and former board members of Yorkshire businesses and management from former portfolio companies. The single biggest investor in the Fund is the Endless and Enact partner and employee group.

Enact was advised by Simon Pilling, James Cook and Catherine Willis of Womble Bond Dickinson and Russ Cahill of the Tax Advisory Partnership.

The management team were advised by Ben Peacock and Tom Kaye of Park Place Corporate Finance and Sandip Khroud and Tamanna Keir of Gateley.