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Management Buy-Out of Minerva Laboratories & Ultrawave

08 February 2017

The management team of Minerva Laboratories Limited and Ultrawave Limited has completed a management buy-out of the businesses for an undisclosed sum.  Institutional funding for the buy-out was provided by Finance Wales, alongside a significant investment from the management team.

Gambit Corporate Finance LLP initiated the transaction and acted as lead advisors to the management team.  The Gambit team was led by Geraint Rowe and Tim Brotherton.  Hugh James provided legal advice, led by Greg Williams.

The management buy-out team comprises Andrew Beresford, Nicola Watkins, Ian Corp and Kevin Davies and the transaction provides an exit for John Melville.

Minerva Laboratories utilises the very latest cutting-edge 3D scanning and design technology to manufacture ear moulds of the finest quality.  Audiology departments in UK hospitals and private practices have been using the company’s ear moulds since 1952.  Its customer base includes the NHS, high street audiologists and a number of Formula One racing teams.  Ultrawave has been manufacturing ultrasonic cleaning equipment for 27 years for a diverse range of customers domestically and internationally.  Both companies are based in Cardiff.

The companies have appointed Nick Harknett as Non-Executive Chairman. Nick brings significant experience in the sales and digital arenas.  He is the former Marketing Director of the Yell Group and the former Managing Director of Dawson Books.  Andrew Beresford, Managing Director commented “The management team has ambitious growth plans for both businesses following the buy-out.  We are delighted to have an investor who shares our ambition in Finance Wales.”

Geraint Rowe of Gambit Corporate Finance LLP commented “Minerva and Ultrawave both have a long and successful history and a reputation for quality products.  The businesses are well positioned in their respective markets and the buy-out provides the management team with an opportunity to build on the businesses previous successes.  We are not seeing a reduction in transaction activity in the mid market, despite press commentary to the contrary.  Good businesses continue to attract strong valuation multiples and, as a firm, we have a good transaction pipeline for 2017.  This transaction is the second completion we have had in 2017.”

Stephen Galvin and Leanna Davies structured the investment for Finance Wales.  Stephen Galvin commented “Finance Wales is delighted to back Andrew and his team to achieve this successful outcome.  This is the first investment from the Wales Management Succession Fund, a Welsh Government-backed £25m fund supporting business succession for growing Welsh companies.”

Greg Williams of Hugh James commented “We enjoyed working with the management team to help deliver on the acquisition of Minerva and Ultrawave.  The MBO ensures that the future of the businesses remains in control of the skilled management team which is a great outcome.  The team has an excellent opportunity to build on foundations, particularly in view of recent customer wins.”

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