MBO at John Roberts

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, March 11, 2021

A management buyout deal has been completed at paper and corrugated products supplier John Roberts Holdings.

John Roberts supplies a wide range of paper-based packaging materials
John Roberts supplies a wide range of paper-based packaging materials

Supplying a wide range of paper-based packaging materials, the business offers the combination of both converted paper products and corrugated.

It focuses on environmentally friendly paper packaging products, including corrugated sheetboard, pads and rolls, in a wide range of grades and formats.

The company employs 62 staff at its head office and mill in Settle and has a turnover of £13m.

The MBO deal has seen John Roberts Holdings chairman Paul Nelson and financial director Jeremy Smith sell their shares in the business to Scott Littlewood, formerly operations director and now taking on the role of managing director, and commercial director Claire Beresford.

Nelson said: “The MBO is another important landmark in the future of John Roberts. We are very proud of the business we have built up, our loyal customer base and hardworking team.

“Settle born and bred, Scott has progressed from machine operative to operations director over the last nine years, and so he knows the business inside out. Claire also has a twenty-seven-year track record in the paper industry and, together, they make a strong team.

“Jeremy and I are happy to lend our experience and to provide support for the foreseeable future and we are pleased to be placing the business in such experienced and capable hands.

“It was very important that as we step back, the employment the business provides in the area is secure, and that the company continues to put customers at the heart of its operations.”

The MBO, which completed on 26 February, was supported by a team of Yorkshire advisers and funders, including a multi-discipline team from Leeds law firm Clarion, led by Kaira Clarehugh (corporate) and Andrew Curtis (banking); and Chris Dale, Alex Baskeyfield and Harry Radburn of Mazars.

The deal was part funded by HSBC with a team led by Scott Wood, advised by Duncan Firman of Gordons.

Littlewood added: “This is an exciting move for Claire and I as we take forward a well-established and successful business to the next stage of its development.

“While it will very much be a story of continuity for our customers and employees, we will also be looking for new opportunities for paper packaging such as supporting the rise of our e-commerce operations.”

The business serves clients including industrial end-users, packaging merchants and boxmakers.

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