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TBD Owen Holland takes off with founder buy-out

29 September 2014

Aircraft ground support and specialist access equipment designer and manufacturer, TBD (Owen Holland) Limited (“TBD”), has been acquired in a management buy-out led by its founder and CEO, Steve Meredith, in a deal negotiated by Gambit Corporate Finance LLP.

The fast growing engineering business based in Waterton Industrial Estate, Bridgend, which employs around 90 people was acquired for an undisclosed sum from its original investor, TB Davies (Cardiff) Limited, a member of the TB Davies family of companies founded in 1945 by Bryn Davies.

In 2012, TBD was regional winner for Wales in the HSBC Business Thinking Initiative and runner up in the UK competition. HSBC, the company’s bankers, provided additional funding to support the transaction.

In parallel with completing the transaction, the company has secured £700,000 from the Welsh Government to finance its expansion plans, creating an additional 50 jobs.

Gambit’s team which has significant experience in the aerospace sector and MBOs was led by Frank Holmes and Simon Marsden.  Frank Holmes, Partner, commented “We have a recognised expertise in management buy-outs having led many transactions of this kind throughout the UK.  In this instance, there was an element of personal déjà vu as I led my own MBO in Currans, an aeronautical engineering company, in the distant past. TBD is a fantastic business, punching well above its weight by applying creative engineering design solutions into a growth market buoyed by demand for the A380 and Dreamliner aircraft.”

Steve Meredith added “We are seeing continuing growth in the UK and experiencing significant international demand from leading airlines including Saudi Arabian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Kuwait Airways and Fly Dubai. I am exceptionally proud of the profile and reputation which the business has built, supported by an extremely talented and hard-working group of employees, and am grateful to them for their unstinting loyalty and support. I am also indebted to the Welsh Government and HSBC for their continuing backing of the business.”

Simon Marsden, Director at Gambit said “TBD has an established reputation for innovative quality products which are traded on a global basis to airlines and carriers requiring reliable specialist equipment. We are delighted to have advised the management team on the transaction which provides the platform and investment for the business to capitalise on the significant commercial opportunities facing it.”

The Board of Directors is joined by new investing Chairman, Roy Kishor, who has significant experience in growing manufacturing businesses.

Rob Cherry and Richard Jones of Blake Morgan acted as legal advisers to the management buy-out team.