Business Growth Fund (BGF) has invested £2.9m in Walsall-based Brownhills Investments to support the growth aspirations of its principle subsidiary Brownhills Glass with the acquisition of Durham-based Peterlee Glass, helping to extend its presence into the North East.
Brownhills Investments was formed in 2012 following a buyout of Brownhills Glass, a name well known in the Midlands since 1977. Brownhills Investments is run by Executive Chairman Nick Harrison, Mark Harrison and Tim Price. Nick is the former group marketing and business development director of Fenner PLC and managing director of Fenner Dunlop. Brownhills’ specialises in bespoke glass processing according to the specifications of architects, builders, interior designers and private home owners in addition to providing glass merchanting services to independent DGU manufacturers.
Peterlee Glass, also set up in the late 1970s, has become one of the North’s leading processed glass suppliers and manufacturers, with a strong reputation for quality and service having worked on projects including Fenwicks of Newcastle, The Sage Gateshead and The British Museum.
Brownhills Investments now has operations in four locations across the UK, meaning it can offer a local service to customers with national requirements. In May 2013, the business started Wiltshire-based Corsham Glass Centre, and teamed up with Chelverton Asset Management in April 2014 to buy Crawley-based Tufwell Glass, whose recent projects have included London’s Shard and the Olympic Park.
The glass market is estimated to have increased by four to six percent last year due to its growing popularity in buildings and interior design features such as stairwells, partitions and walkways. Brownhills has reacted by making the three acquisitions as part of the plan to increase its geographic reach in response to this strengthening customer demand.
Brownhills and its subsidiaries employ 120 people including glass technicians, designers, surveyors and installers. The group businesses use state-of-the-art technology to process glass to regulatory standards.
Nick Harrison, Executive Chairman, Brownhills Investments said: “By scaling up, we are able to create efficiencies, reduce lead-times and support our customers in their requirements across the country. We’ve held Peterlee in high regard for a number of years and they share the same philosophies in how to go about business in the right way. Its reputation for processing quality and customer service is very much aligned to our own priorities and I am excited about the prospect of adding their skills and knowledge to the Group.”
“BGF’s growth capital has afforded us the freedom to continue to expand. We wanted a financial backer that could offer long-term, flexible support without taking control, and BGF was able to fit that brief exactly.”
Gurinder Sunner, Senior Investment Manager, BGF said: “Brownhills management team has a clear growth plan, a stable track record and a wealth of business and sector experience. We have come to know the management team well and are delighted that our initial investment has already allowed them to expand into the North of England.”