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Oct 2007 – Eldapoint – Superior and quality operator of shipping container depots and anti-vandal cabins financed for growth

Close Growth Capital backs Eldapoint Ltd – UK’s Leading anti-vandal cabin manufacturer and leading operator of shipping container depots

Close Growth Capital, the hybrid equity and debt finance provider, has acquired a 30% stake in Eldapoint Ltd the leading manufacturer of anti-vandal cabins and one of the UK’s largest providers of shipping container storage, handling and repair services. The management team retains 70% of the equity.

The company was founded in 1968 as a general refrigeration service company and later expanded into container refrigeration. Eldapoint enjoyed years of steady growth and now has service depots at the major ports where it provides container storage, handling and repair services to shipping lines and container leasing companies. The company operates depots at Felixstowe, Southampton, Liverpool, Grangemouth and Grays.

Management saw the opportunity seven years ago to use the company’s container repair and conversion capabilities for the manufacture of steel anti-vandal accommodation/storage cabins. The superior quality of its cabins has seen this part of the business grow rapidly and Eldapoint become the leading manufacturer of portable accommodation units with a client list that includes the major hire companies.

Eldapoint is run by David Clarke (Managing Director), Stuart Chidley (Operations and Finance Director) and Lynne Hoche (Director and daughter of the company’s founder). In addition to manufacturing and container services, the company also offers haulage and self-storage for private individuals and business customers. Turnover for the current year is forecast to be £26 million, a 30% increase over last year.

Garrett Curran, Director of Close Growth Capital, said

“We are pleased to be chosen as the financial partner to support Eldapoint in their expansion plans. The company has strong market positions in container services and portable accommodation units. The management team has successfully grown the business since they acquired it through an MBO three years ago and we look forward to supporting them as they pursue new opportunities for organic growth and acquisitions.”

Curran continued,

“Over the last five years, the management team has pursued a number of strategies to broaden and deepen the capabilities of the business. This includes the introduction of haulage to supplement the container services offering, the acquisition of further depots to widen the network and the expansion of manufacturing and container conversions to Felixstowe and Grangemouth. Furthermore the appointment of Larry Kilby, a well-respected industry figure and the former Managing Director of Maritime Transport Ltd, as Business Development Director should see the transport side of the business expand rapidly.”

David Clarke, Managing Director of Eldapoint said

“We are delighted to have secured funding from Close Growth Capital and look forward to working with them as we expand the business. The transaction secures the company a financial partner to invest in the business to help satisfy the growing demand for our services.”

Stuart Chidley, Operations and Finance Director added,

“There are opportunities to expand geographically as our primary customers in both container services and manufacturing have requirements nationwide. Expanding manufacturing to other facilities or adding new depots will benefit our customers and should lead to higher sales.”

Barclays continues their support of the business through a term loan and working capital facilities. The business was introduced to Close Growth Capital by Grant Thornton, Manchester.

Close Growth Capital – Garrett Curran, Bill Crossan

Banking: Barclays – Shaun Cross

Advisors:

Close Growth Capital legals: Osborne Clarke – Alisdair Livingstone, David Ferris, Hugh Jones

Management legals: Halliwells – Sue Russell, Craig Scott

Financial due diligence: Tenon – Nick Williams

Financial advisors to the Company & Newco: Grant Thornton – Stephen Baker, Barry Moss, John Clarke

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Close Growth Capital

Close Growth Capital provides combined equity and debt funding to UK mid-market companies through a distinctive single source approach. This includes finance for management buy-outs/buy-ins, companies requiring growth capital and secondary buy-outs, with a typical transaction size of £5million – £30million.

The investment takes the form of a tailor-made instrument combining the best elements of a secured loan with those of equity. The management team in an MBO or MBI typically retain a greater proportion of their company’s equity and benefit from significantly enhanced flexibility in the repayment of the funding package.

Recent transactions include backing the secondary buyout of Killby & Gayford Group, the £32 million secondary buyout of A-Gas International, the MBI of Toms Confectionery Ltd, and the acquisition of the confectionery arm of Burton’s Foods for an undisclosed sum.

Close Growth Capital, an investment arm of Close Brothers Group plc, was started in 1999 to provide combined equity and debt funding to UK SMEs. Close Growth Capital invests in mid-market businesses in all sectors, but has a proven track record in: business support services, leisure, transport and distribution, consumer products and specialist engineering.

Close Growth Capital is the trading name of Close Brothers Growth Capital Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

For further information, please contact:

Equity Dynamics

Jane Kirby 07825 326 441
Corinna Vere Nicoll 07825 326 440
www.equitydynamics.co.uk

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