Livingston windows firm receives £3.5m

Stevenswood rejects sale and expands with BGF

StevenswoodDirectors of window and door manufacturer Stevenswood have opted to grow rather than sell the business after receiving a £3.5 million package of support from the Business Growth Fund.

Livingston-based Stevenswood, which also sells conservatories, is one of the biggest firms in the Scottish market and will now expand its production capacity and network of trade counters.

The £11m turnover business makes more than 1,000 windows and doors a week and sells its bespoke products through its trade counters in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kilmarnock and at its headquarters in Livingston.

The BGF is an independent company backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, and Standard Chartered – to help the UK’s growing businesses.

It has taken a minority stake in Stevenswood with Patrick Graham joining the board as investor director. David Pearson becomes chairman and Murray McGarvie finance director.

Mr Pearson brings extensive experience of working with institutionally backed manufacturing businesses. He is the current chairman of Nenplas and DPP. In his earlier career, he was the group commercial director of Focus Wickes.

Mr McGarvie is an experienced finance director with a proven track record in manufacturing and retail businesses.

Stevenswood was founded in 1997 by the current managing director Ron Hepburn and his now retired business partner Dave Flynn, initially focussing on the installation of windows and doors.  It was the first company in Scotland to offer 70mm fully sculptured frames that are now the industry standard.

The recruitment of director Duncan Murray in the year 2000 moved the direction of the business to focus on manufacturing its own products.  During the last decade it has invested more than £1.6m in a new site and machinery.  All manufacturing now takes place at its industrial facilities on a five-acre site at Houston Industrial Estates in Livingston.

Mr Hepburn said:  “We have been reinvigorated about the future prospects of our business thanks to BGF’s growth capital investment.  The period around Dave’s retirement made us all reflect on the journey we had taken and what we had achieved and a sale was seriously considered.  But an introduction to BGF allowed us to see more immediate opportunities to grow the business we had worked so hard to create.

“The BGF team could see the commitment to investment we had already undertaken with our new site and advanced manufacturing equipment at Livingston so they knew that their investment would be focused on avenues of growth rather than capital expenditure.  As a business that trebled its turnover during the recession we are confident that our quality products and our established reputation will allow us to experience rapid growth.”

Mr Graham of BGF said: “Ron is a talented and very personable businessman with a great team around him that have continually invested in the business, diversified and evolved when many in the sector collapsed.  We’re excited about expanding awareness of its product range to new trade audiences.

“BGF has backed 23 British manufacturing businesses in the past three years, from laser specialists in Glasgow to carpet makers in Kidderminster.  Stevenswood is a brilliant example of a strong, established business that has immediate potential and assists our goal of supporting sustainable growth in British manufacturing while creating local employment.”

BGF was advised by French Duncan, Clark Associates and DLA Piper Scotland. Stevenswood’s advisers were Gillespie Macandrew and WK Corporate Finance.

Pictured: Ron Hepburn (left) and Patrick Graham


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