Moore Kingston Smith advises Whiteline Manufacturing on its sale to industrial conglomerate group

23 February 2024 / Insight posted in Article

Whiteline Manufacturing, established in 1983, is the largest independent fabricator of PVCu windows and doors in the South East. From their factory in Eastbourne, East Sussex, they fabricate and supply energy-efficient windows, conservatories, doors and accessories.

After developing the company to be the clear market leader in the region, the retiring shareholders decided to sell 100% of the business and appointed Moore Kingston Smith’s corporate finance team to advise them throughout the sale process.

Moore Kingston Smith’s corporate finance team, led by Stephen Orriss and Matt McRae and supported by Matthew Edwards, deployed their in-depth knowledge of the window fabrication sector to deliver an exit despite challenging market conditions at the time, notably high inflation and rising interest rates.

After understanding the main requirements of Whiteline shareholders, Moore Kingston Smith leveraged its global network of advisers and investors and launched a marketing exercise to understand the appetite for acquiring the company.

The outreach attracted offers from buyers in the UK and wider Europe, leading to a competitive bid process that included several rounds of increasing offers from private equity, trade and conglomerates.

In the end, Whiteline was acquired by a privately owned conglomerate group with a special focus on the manufacturing and distribution sectors in the UK and Europe.

The transaction stands out as it provided an exit to the shareholders which was paid in cash in full on completion, with no deferred or contingent consideration.

The deal was also executed within six weeks of heads of terms being signed, much faster than the average length of time for deal execution at the time with constant interest rate increases, economic volatility and general uncertainty.

“We were impressed with the level of expertise in the uPVC fabricator segment demonstrated by the Moore Kingston Smith corporate finance team.  The personalised approach delivered by Stephen Orriss and Matt McRae and the quality of their work has gone beyond our expectations. It’s never easy to sell a business, especially when the macroeconomic factors are tough but their commitment, understanding of our requirements and their international network resulted in a great deal.”

Tim Gourmand, Whiteline’s controlling shareholder

Stephen Orriss, Moore Kingston Smith corporate finance partner, concluded: “In any sell-side deal, there are always unique circumstances and complexities that we need to consider to achieve a successful completion. Working with Tim and his team has been a pleasure and the process has been highly rewarding throughout. We wish Tim and his fellow exiting shareholders all the best in their new endeavours.”        

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