Metamark completes £62m MBO

Lancaster-based sign specialist Metamark (UK) Limited has been bought from the founder shareholders, Mark Bateson and Mike Stuart, for £62m.

Metamark manufactures and distributes self-adhesive sign vinyl and digital print media in the UK, Europe and around the world, employing at its manufacturing facility in Lancaster and distribution operations in Woking.

The management team is led by Paul French (chief executive) and Ian Simister (sales director). Matthew Enright joins Metamark as its chief finance officer.

Paul and Ian have led the business for the last five years and in that time have presided over a doubling in revenue and profits. In the year ended 31st March 2017 Metamark had revenues of approximately £29m, with one third coming from export sales to 40 countries.

The deal was led by Iain Wolstenholme, Alistair Armstrong, and Chris Hopwood at Primary. Metamark is Primary’s fifth investment from their Primary IV Fund.

Iain Wolstenholme said: “Metamark is a highly differentiated market leader in its niche of selfadhesive signage materials with strong brand recognition and the highest standards of customer service. We are delighted to support Paul and his team in continuing to invest in further growth for Metamark over the coming years.”

Paul French said: "We have some very exciting plans for Metamark. They will ensure that our growth continues on the upward trajectory we’ve established both in the UK and internationally.

"We have a planned programme of further investment in capital plant to strengthen our manufacturing and conversion and we’ll be investing in people so we can strengthen our team and reinforce our international stature. We’re taking our model to new markets too.

"Our technical leadership and service led ethics mean we can achieve scale in markets such as construction while growing opportunities in our established channels with new, product-led applications. In Primary we have an investment partner who shares our ambition and values." Santander and Yorkshire Bank provided senior debt finance for the deal and working capital facilities to help fund future growth. A KPMG Corporate Finance team, led by Alex Hartley, advised Primary on their investment. The vendors were advised by CLB Coopers.