Ardenton Capital deal puts PP Control & Automation on course for £40m

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The UK’s leading provider of strategic manufacturing outsourcing solutions has signed a new deal that will help it take the business to £40m within five years.

PP Control & Automation, which employs over 230 people at its world class facility in the West Midlands, has received significant investment from Ardenton Capital Corporation, who now own a majority stake in the organisation.

Current Managing Director Tony Hague has become a significant shareholder in the business as part of the deal and will become Chief Executive Officer, whilst founder David Fox will continue to impart his 40+ years of industry experience in the role of Chairman.

The injection of funding comes just a few weeks after the company announced a string of new contracts to take its turnover for the coming year to £24m, including exciting first orders for Hedinn in Iceland and new projects for customers in digital printing and the scientific industries.

“We recognised over 12 months ago that if we were to realise our aspirations of truly growing PP in the way we believed possible, we would need a new business partner to work with,” explained Tony Hague, who has been with the company since 2001.

“Sales have increased nearly 30% in the last two years, but to take us to £40m and beyond we needed to partner with a long-term investor to really accelerate the growth. There were many organisations keen to invest in PP.”

He went on to add: “However, we knew from the very first meeting with Ardenton Capital that its differentiated approach to sustained investment, with no intention to divest, perfectly aligned itself to the way we do business and will ensure we deliver on our ambitious expansion plans.

“The terms we have agreed provides stability for our customers and security for our employees, whilst also giving us a fantastic platform to invest in the future and in taking our manufacturing capabilities to even more global customers.”

Ardenton is a Canadian Headquartered private corporate investor which, unlike traditional private equity funds, invests with no intention to divest.

Directors Iain Marlow and Mark Bradbury opened the UK office in Manchester in 2016 and made their first investment into Corbetts the Galvanizers in the West Midlands the year after.

Ardenton target majority investments in businesses alongside incumbent management teams, who it seeks to support in delivering long-term sustainable growth.

The company has recently expanded its team to include Allan Dunn (Director of Strategic Development), James Worrall (Associate Investment Director) and Jonny Nixon (Investment Manager).

Iain Marlow, Director of Ardenton UK, said: “PP Control & Automation is a great example of a world class UK manufacturer exporting its services and products all over the globe.

“We are exceptionally proud to have the opportunity to partner with Tony Hague and his management team to help take the business into its next phase of growth and ensure the business continues to be a leading light of West Midlands industry.”

PP Control & Automation turned 50 years-old in September 2017 and marked the occasion by securing £2m of new contracts.

It has grown into one of the world’s largest and most respected suppliers of electrical control systems and sub-contract manufacturing solutions to customers involved in the machine tools, packaging, printing, medical, pharma, scientific and food processing sectors.

Tony concluded: “We are seeking strong growth both in the UK and further afield and the style of strategic outsourcing solutions we offer seems to be very much in demand.

“There is a clear focus from our customers to reduce both their manufacturing and sales lead times, as well as improving total production costs – we have a proven track record in working with many of the world’s leading machinery builders and doing just that!”

The deal was supported by Ian Mansell, Ian Howey and Sunil Prabhakar of Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank in Birmingham.