Castle Square advise Buy-In team to acquire stakes in Manufacturing Specialist

A Management Buy-In, led by Marie Cooper and Chris Brown has acquired a controlling stake in plating and surface technology specialist NiTEC UK and Spire Laboratories Ltd, a test house specialising in validation & certification for the surface treatment industry, both of which are based in Chesterfield.  As part of the transaction Marcus Hill and David Brown, the founding shareholders, are staying with the businesses and retain shareholdings.

Marie and Chris were previously part of the management team who successfully built Private Equity backed President Engineering Group, before its sale to Parker Hannifin in 2015. Following their successful exit from President they set about looking for businesses in which they could invest and apply their skills and experience to enhance operations and deliver accelerated growth in revenues and profits.

NiTEC and Spire were identified as potential targets for Marie and Chris by Sheffield based dealmakers, Castle Square Corporate Finance, who led by Directors Kevan Shaw and Lisa Ritson, advised on deal negotiations and led the fundraising process necessary to complete the transaction.  HSBC provided the debt funding package necessary to sit alongside the new equity investment and corporate team of Lupton Fawcett LLP’s Sheffield office provided legal advice to the Management Buy-In team on the acquisition and funding aspects.

Marie Cooper said, “The opportunity to acquire the Nitec business was just what we were looking for, myself and Chris have a skill set that will compliment David & Marcus’s and together our combined expertise will allow us to take the business forward to achieve its full potential“.

NiTEC is a company specialising in Electroless Nickel Plating and high-end surface treatments, and operates from one of the largest capacity plating facilities in the world.

The company also provides its market leading SeaTEC 100 Marine Corrosion resistance coatings, Diffused Nickel Plating, self-lubricating coatings and is also able to provide Copper Plating Facilities.

Spire Laboratories offers a range of testing services associated with the validation and certification requirements for the surface treatment industry.

Spire provide a variety of qualified metal testing services including; mechanical hardness, micro-structure inspection, chemical composition analysis including X-radial fluorescence spectrometric, and accelerated corrosion testing.

Castle Square Director Kevan Shaw said, "Looking at its blue-chip client base, NiTEC is clearly a market leading company in its sector and under Marcus and David, has grown significantly in recent years by serving global markets.  Marie and Chris, working together with Marcus and David will take the company to its next level of growth".

Marcus Hill said, "David and I are extremely excited to work with Marie and Chris developing the business and we look forward to the future".

Selected as the preferred funder, Chris Alsop led the HSBC team that determined the acquisition finance package, alongside working capital facilities.

Chris Alsop said, "Marie and Chris have an exemplary track record and I am very confident that they will move NiTEC forward with great success".

The corporate team of Lupton Fawcett LLP in Sheffield, led by Partner Neil Large, provided legal advice on the acquisition and funding aspects.

Neil Large said, "This was a fast-moving transaction involving various parties and advisers.  It required a dedicated, client focused, approach from a team of multidisciplinary lawyers at Lupton Fawcett LLP in Sheffield to drive the legal process and documentation.  It was an absolute pleasure to work with Marie and Chris, and the Castle Square Team, on this deal.  I have no doubt, under the new management, NiTEC and Spire will go from strength to strength and enjoy further growth and success".

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