Winder’s sales target following £6m buyout

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MANUFACTURER Winder Power has completed a £6m management buyout as it targets sales growth of 50 per cent this year.

The Leeds-based manufacturer of power distribution and generation equipment said the deal, backed by fund manager Enterprise Ventures and Bank of Ireland UK, passes control of the business to a management team led by managing director Laurence MacKenzie, operations director Andy Pinkney, general manager Paul Matthews and finance director Jo Evans.

Mr Pinkney and Mr Matthews were already shareholders in the business. They will be joined by a new chairman, Harry McCracken, who is the former group managing director of Irish energy company Viridian Power & Energy. The deal provides an exit for outgoing executive chairman Richard Asquith and fund manager YFM, which backed a buyout led by Mr Asquith in 2005.

The company said it is on target to grow sales by 50 per cent year-on-year to £15m in the year to the end of March 2013. It recently completed an investment of £1m in new testing facilities.

Established more than a century ago, Winder Power employs around 100 people in its two divisions.

Winder Electrical specialises in the design and manufacture of power and distribution transformers for use on electricity networks, while Newton Derby supplies generation equipment for sectors including marine, rail and aviation.

Customers include SSE plc, Northern Ireland Electricity, Electricity North West, GE Energy, Inneos Chemicals, Air Products and Powerteam.

Exports account for around 20 per cent of sales at Winder Power.

Mr MacKenzie said: “This is a significant transaction for the MBO team and underscores our own commitment to the business.”

He said that Mr McCracken’s “significant industry experience will be of considerable benefit to Winder Power”.

Wayne Thomas, investment director at Enterprise Ventures, said that Winder Power has the potential to double in size over the next few years.

He added: “The Government’s target to generate 20 per cent of energy from renewables, the need to replace ageing power infrastructure and demand from overseas markets all offer opportunities for growth.”

Mr Mackenzie said: “It’s very much business as usual inside the business, the existing management team remains very focused on the business and its customers; we are very ambitious for the business.”

Advisory teams from Leeds acted on the deal.

Pannone LLP provided legal advice to Bank of Ireland while Pinsent Masons advised Enterprise Ventures and Clarion advised the management team. BHP Mitchells provided corporate finance advice to management.