Siddall & Hilton Products Ltd, founded in 1895, is the largest UK manufacturer of welded wire mesh, offering a range of products for high-security, general fencing and industrial applications.
The existing management team required the means to facilitate an MBO in 2019. Key to this was refinancing with a funding partner willing to support the business as they implemented their new business improvement and growth strategy. This partnership would be further reinforced as the business later navigated its way through a global pandemic and an unexpected surge in demand for their industrial mesh products.
ABN AMRO Commercial Finance initially provided the funding to support the buyout, but also generated the headroom to support business continuity and accommodate future upgrades to the factory with a reliable working capital solution. The initial facilities totalled £7.32m, comprising Receivables Finance, Inventory, Plant & Machinery and an EFG term loan.
The company continued on a positive growth path, but after engaging with their relationship manager around the uncertainty created by Covid-19, the EFG term loan was replaced by a larger CBILS term loan to support them through the unpredictable trading conditions that lay ahead.
After a short pause, a phased return to work was quickly followed by an unexpected increase in demand. Covid protocols implemented for the safety of their staff had already reduced the effective output capacity of the business and an increase in demand exacerbated those production capacity issues. To address this, a significant investment in machinery was needed. This was facilitated by a £1.6m, 7 year Hire Purchase agreement with ABN AMRO Lease enabling the business to acquire a new, additional, state-of-the-art, mesh welding machine.
Morgan Beresford-Lambert, Finance Director at Siddall & Hilton Products said, “The strong relationship with ABN AMRO gave us the confidence in the early stages to secure the funding required for the machine. Their prompt and efficient response to support and strengthen the business as we enact our strategic plan has only reinforced our decision to retain ABN AMRO as our preferred funding partner.”
Since the initial MBO transaction a flexible approach from the team at ABN AMRO, and a secure funding solution has provided a fit for purpose facility, boosting working capital to support the evolving needs of the business, and enabling continued growth.
The added provision of a Lease facility has helped Siddall & Hilton Products invest in new cutting-edge machinery, helping to optimise their operations, increase productivity and enhance sustainability through energy efficiency gains and producing significantly less process waste.
The next phase of business development for Siddall & Hilton Products includes factory automation, investing in intelligent data capture and developing the site to further drive improvements and business expansion – an asset-based lending solution will help achieve this.