Gambit Corporate Finance LLP has acted as lead advisor on the management buyout of Accessory Bits (“ABL”), for an undisclosed sum. Institutional funding of £4.2m was provided by mid-market private equity investor Foresight Group with debt facilities from HSBC’s Midlands leveraged finance team.
Founded in 2003 by Ian Lawry, ABL is a manufacturer and distributor of specialist office desk accessory products and electrical products. Key products include power modules, monitor arms and cable management systems. ABL’s head office is in Wellingborough (UK) with a manufacturing base in Serbia. ABL operates throughout the UK and utilises office equipment manufacturers and dealers as sales channels.
The management buy-out was led by Paul Stotesbury, and Sreten Savkovic, who will take the roles of Managing Director and Production Director respectively. Gambit’s team, which has significant experience advising on private equity transactions, was led by Geraint Rowe and Simon Williams. The transaction involved the simultaneous acquisition of Accessory Bits Limited in the UK and ABL Production D.O.O in Serbia.
Simon Moate joins ABL as Chairman. Simon was the former CEO of office supplies business Office2Office.
Paul Stotesbury, ABL’s Managing Director, commented “We have achieved annual revenue growth in excess of 30% over the last three years and have ambitious growth plans as a business for the future. Our innovative products and exceptional customer service are recognised by both our loyal customer base and new customers. I am confident about the long-term growth opportunity this provides, and am very pleased that we have an institutional investor in Foresight Group that shares this vision. We have worked with Gambit for some nine months and have a unique opportunity to continue ABL’s growth.
Geraint Rowe, Partner at Gambit, commented, “The transaction further highlights Gambit’s extensive experience advising on private equity transactions and those involving a cross-border element. It also represents Gambit’s third completion in ten days. The transaction demonstrates Gambit significant transaction experience within the office products and services sector, following successful transactions with Pinnacle Office Equipment, Orangebox and Pinnacle Telecom.”
Simon Williams, Director at Gambit, commented “ABL has an excellent market position, arising from its long history in this sector, loyal customer base and product innovation. The increasing demand for power for high energy usage devices such as smart phones and tablets, and the continuing movement towards open plan office environments means that ABL’s products are well placed to achieve the predicted future growth.”