Sale of Spaceright in MBO backed by Rockpool Investments

Spaceright, the leading UK designer/manufacturer of furniture for the educational sector, has secured investment from private equity firm Rockpool Investments LLP, for the completion of a management buyout (MBO). Initium assisted the shareholders of Spaceright throughout the transaction.

Headquartered in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, with two manufacturing sites in Glasgow and Lincoln, Spaceright manufactures and supplies curriculum, early years, dining furniture and presentation products to schools, nurseries and offices across the UK.

“If I had to sell another business, I would definitely go back to you. Helping business owners sell is your only focus, and that hands-on experience showed throughout our partnership” – Alan Symon, former shareholder, Spaceright

Founded more than a century ago, Spaceright has actively developed its extensive range to incorporate the latest technological efficiencies. The company is now a noted specialist in the field, and its products are sold under a suite of sector-leading brands: Spaceright, EdTech, Millhouse and Inspirational Playgrounds.

Headquartered in London, Rockpool Investments has invested more than £450m in over 75 companies since 2012. The organisation is sector-diverse and supports high quality SME management teams across the UK. Rockpool Investments’ core focus is assisting profitable and growing companies under the radar of mainstream private equity funds.

Deal insights

Ben Hutchinson, Investment Manager at Rockpool, said “We are delighted to welcome Spaceright Group into the Rockpool portfolio. Spaceright represents an exciting opportunity for our investors to back a highly credible CEO, Steve Ashton, who has driven recent organic growth at the company, alongside identifying and incorporating selective, value accretive bolt-on acquisitions.”

Commenting on the transaction, Alan Symon, former co-director and shareholder of Spaceright, said: “After 12 years running Spaceright, the investors and some directors had reached the stage where we weren’t looking far enough ahead at the growth cycle of the business. We knew, for the benefit of Spaceright and its staff, that we needed to exit and let others take the company to the next level. Now Spaceright has clear direction and ambitious leadership, I have entered a new phase of life and career. I’m involved in charitable causes and various local projects, giving back to the community.

“If I had to sell another business, I would definitely go back to Initium. The sale process was organised and well structured, and the research list of potential acquirers particularly impressive. We did speak to other potential advisors, but were drawn to Initium because helping business owners sell is their only focus – their ‘life and soul’ – and that hands-on experience showed throughout our partnership.”

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