Engineering and Manufacturing

Almost 900 jobs saved as manufacturer rescued from administration

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 01 July 2020 7:46

Almost 900 jobs saved as manufacturer rescued from administration

One of Gloucestershire’s biggest employers has been saved from collapse and given a new future in a last-minute deal. 

European Private Equity fund Nimbus, together with its financing source MidCap Financial, have agreed to buy the majority of the Customade Group out of administration and create a new group. 

That new business is made up of Virtuoso Doors, Polyframe Norwich, Polyframe Stonehouse, REAL Aluminium, Atlas, Fineline Aluminium and Stevenswood. 

Customade’s product range spans PVCu and aluminium windows and doors, composite doors, aluminium glazed roofs and sealed glass units. 

According to the Stonehouse-based firm the acquisition “saves over 870 jobs and provides a strong footing for the acquired businesses to face the post Covid -19 economic pressures and pursue the new owner’s ambitious growth plans.

David Leng (pictured above), chief executive and leader of the new group management team, said: “After an extensive process it has been good to find an experienced investment partner in Nimbus to save the majority of the Customade business in these exceptionally difficult economic circumstances. We can now look forward to a much stronger and certain future.” 

Alexander de Haas, of Nimbus, said “We are delighted to invest in the Customade Group. The business has a market leading product and customer service proposition but has faced unprecedented challenges in the last six months. 

“Our investment will allow the group to recover and focus on a long-term growth strategy which will include significant investment in the manufacturing capability of the group.” 

In March 2018 Customade Group was said to have rounded off an historic year. On course to double its scale to become a £200 million business it was already the biggest fabricator in the UK with revenues of more than £100 million. 

Glassnews.co.uk said the business was “poised for an era of rapid growth with new group chief executive David Leng driving its ambitious plans”. 

Mr Leng, formerly Synseal Group’s chief executive officer, joined Customade Group in February of 2018. 

At the start of May Customade was revealing how it was on track to win a record number of industry awards, but it too was forced to close due to the pandemic 

A phased re-opening took place, also from the start of May, when production was started at its Stonehouse site for ATLAS, REAL and DuraflexPVCu, with Norwich (Rehau) starting on Monday May 18 and its Halifax (Eurocell & Halo) and Livingston (Veka) sites following suit over the next few weeks. 

Nimbus, the majority owners of the new group, describes itself as “very experienced investors in manufacturing with a strong track record in supporting management teams to build strong, market leading businesses”. 

The transaction is its second deal in the UK within the last 12 months.