Secondary buyout delivers independence for Leengate Valves

Left to Right: Don Gray (BHP), Leigh Pickering (Leengate), Mick Loseby (Leengate), Steve Pickering (Leengate)
Left to Right: Don Gray (BHP), Leigh Pickering (Leengate), Mick Loseby (Leengate), Steve Pickering (Leengate)
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The management team at one of the UK’s biggest valve wholesalers has completed a buyout of its private equity partner.

Leengate Valves, which supplies more than 20,000 valve products as well as providing associated calibration, actuation and engineering services, has bought out its private equity investor YFM Equity Partners in a deal which sees management acquire full ownership of the business.

YFM initially invested in December 2013 to support the management buyout from the German industrial gasses group Linde. Following the buyout, Leengate’s management team of Steve Pickering, Leigh Pickering and Mick Loseby embarked on a growth plan which has seen annual sales rise from around £6m to £12m. Today, it employs around 40 staff.

Steve Pickering, the managing director, said: “Leengate Valves has grown tremendously over the five years following our MBO, not only doubling the turnover but also the workforce. We would like to thank YFM for their support during this journey. Many thanks also to BHP, HSBC and Keebles who have been there to advise along the way.”

Don Gray and Tim Brind from BHP Corporate Finance acted as lead advisers to Leengate.

Mr Gray added: “Having advised Steve and the team on the original MBO it has been an absolute pleasure to see the business grow and flourish. This secondary buyout demonstrates that despite wider political uncertainty, funding appetite remains strong for management teams looking to raise capital.”

Nigel Owens, from YFM, said: “We partnered with Steve, Leigh and Mick back in 2013, carving Leengate out as an independent business, and it has been a pleasure working with them since.

“During that time, the team have skilfully grown and developed the business, expanded its product range, invested in increased distribution capacity and completed a successful acquisition to nearly double revenues. We wish the team and Leengate well in the future.”

Funding was provided by HSBC’s South Yorkshire Corporate team. Relationship director, Chris Alsop, said: “Leengate has gone from strength to strength following HSBC’s and YFM’s investment in 2013.”

Paul Trudgill and James Burdekin from Keebles acted as legal advisers to Leengate. HSBC were advised by Irwin Mitchell (Dean Gormley) and YFM by Freeths (Peter Crawford and Emily Pogson).