MBO at North West Roller Services

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, April 22, 2021

A management buyout has been completed at print consumables manufacturer and distributor North West Roller Services (NWRS).

Dodgson (centre): "There is a great opportunity worldwide"
Dodgson (centre): "There is a great opportunity worldwide"

Sales manager Barry Dodgson, who has more than 18 years’ experience with the Runcorn-based business, led the transaction. It was completed on 6 April and followed the retirement of the previous shareholders, including former managing director Ian Antrobus.

Dodgson has become managing director while the other member of the MBO team, non-executive director Nick Owen, has joined the company’s board alongside Dodgson.

Established in 1990, NWRS manufactures a range of consumables for the flexographic, gravure and lamination industries.

Its products include rubber covered cylinders and sleeves, manufactured fibreglass sleeves, and laser engraved printing sleeves and cylinders used for the printing of food packaging, decorative wallpaper, textiles and security print.

The £2.3m-turnover business employs 30 staff, all of which have been kept on.

“In fact, we’re actually looking to grow the business and the personnel; we’re actively advertising for someone at the moment,” Dodgson told Printweek.

“It’s going to be a trainee for the manufacturing side of the business; the age group is relatively young here in comparison to our competitors but we need some more young blood.”

Dodgson added the company’s plan for the next phase of its growth will see it look to increase its home market, as well as targeting export markets as it plans to significantly increase its revenue.

“Because of the unique product that we produce – conical sleeves, which very few people in the world make – there is a great opportunity worldwide. We are actually exporting quite considerably at the moment but I can foresee that being doubled in a very short space of time.”

He said the company had been supported by the government’s furlough scheme during the coronavirus pandemic and that it was “looking forward to bringing people back as soon as possible”.

“We serve some very strong blue chip companies who through the pandemic became extremely busy. We did notice there had been a very slight dip in turnover, but we had our best month ever in the history of the company last month and it’s looking quite rosy at the moment. We have a lot of work in, so we’re looking forward and things are going in the way that we expected them to.”

The MBO was funded by a £1.5m equity investment from MSIF’s AFM [Alliance Fund Managers] managed ‘Merseyside Loan and Equity Fund’, alongside a debt package from ThinCats.

Corporate finance advice was provided by Paula McGrath and Dan Rice of Brabners Deal Advisory, who sourced and negotiated the deal with the vendors.

Following which Brabners worked with the NWRS management team to structure the transaction and raise a substantial financial package to support the deal.

Daniel Hayhurst at Brabners provided legal advice to the MBO team. Legal advice for AFM was provided by David Carr at Napthens, and Stephen Gregson at Moore and Smalley provided financial due diligence support.

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