Management buyout to take firm forward

STATIONARY firm Duraweld has undergone a management buy-out as the company embarks on a new growth phase.

Richard Senior, owner and chairman of the Scarborough-based firm, sold the company to his daughter, chief operating officer Hannah Senior, and her husband Mark Yeung, the finance manager.

The couple said the buy-out, which was for an undisclosed sum, strengthened the company's position as one of the UK's leading producers of customised stationery, presentation and packaging products, and provided a new platform to develop the business.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

The firm, which is one of the largest manufacturers of plastic stationary products in the UK, employs 70 people and has a 4m turnover.

Ms Senior said: "We are thrilled to be the new owners of Duraweld and would like to thank our employees and customers for their fantastic encouragement and support. Duraweld is a well -known and respected name throughout the industry, and our decision to purchase the business has been based on the fantastic range of opportunities we see for it to grow and develop."

She added: "Our aim now is to strengthen and streamline our core business, whilst taking advantage of new opportunities along the way.

"We will continue to develop and invest in our online service, be committed to environmentally friendly business practices, and in direct response to customer demand, have just expanded our product range to include an exciting range of paper over board ring binders."

Mr Senior, who has led the company since 1972, will stay on as a consultant for the next three years.

He said: "I am delighted that this young, energetic management team will be leading the business into the future. Since joining Duraweld, Hannah and Mark have brought with them lots of fresh thinking and new ideas that are having a very positive impact.

"It's great news for the company and I wish them every success in the future."

Mr Yeung added: "Whilst the economic climate continues to be challenging, we have great ambitions for the company. Our confidence in the committed and skilled team at Duraweld is absolute.

"We are especially delighted that Richard has agreed to stay on as a consultant, which will enable us to draw on his vast knowledge of the industry, and help ensure a seamless transition."

The company, which was launched in 1959, manufactures customised plastic stationery products for presenting, packaging and protecting print work and multimedia in-house.

It was initially run as a partnership by two businessmen, known as Mr Thackray and Mr Durak. The name Duraweld is a combination of their names and the high frequency welding technique they used to weld their plastic products, which in those days were predominantly plastic book covers for libraries and sleeves for telephone books.

Ms Senior joined the company in September 2008 after completing an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business in California where she studied entrepreneurship and family business. Before that she was a strategy consultant at Marakon Associates, and a manager at Tesco.com.

Since joining Duraweld, she has been closely involved with all aspects of the business, including the launch of its new website last year, which enables customers to build their own ring binders online, get instant quotes and adjust the specifications of an order.

Mr Yeung joined Duraweld in 2009, and took over the running of the company's financial operations. He previously worked for management consultants McKinsey and Company and was part of the team which set up Tesco's Fresh & Easy retail operation in the US.

The company, based in Salter Road in Eastfield, was recently selected by the Manufacturing Advisory Service to host a visit last week in which it showed other companies how to make products in an environmentally-friendly way.