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BGF exits as Stevenswood in Polyframe deal

Ron HepburnKitchens and conservatories manufacturer Stevenswood has acquired Polyframe Trade Centres as part of its ambition to build a UK-wide trade counter business.

The deal allows growth capital provider, the Business Growth Fund, to exit Livingston-based Stevenswood in which it invested £3.6m in February 2015 for a minority stake. 

After selling the trade counters business Polyframe will continue to operate as an independent manufacturer.

BGF’S funding allowed Stevenswood to rapidly expand its network of trade counters from five to 15 throughout Scotland.

During BGF’s involvement, the company has opened outlets in Anniesland, Dunfermline, Falkirk, Govan, Inverness, Stirling as well as Leith and Sighthill in Edinburgh. 

Revenues have risen from £10m in 2013-14 to £18m in 2015-16. 

News of the deal comes just weeks after BGF revealed that the size of its investments across the UK had broken through the £1bn mark following an £11m investment in holiday park operator Coppergreen Developments, which allowed it to buy the Piperdam golf and leisure resort near Dundee. 

BGF investor Patrick Graham, who served on the board of Stevenswood, said: “The favourable return we have realised from our investment in Stevenswood will allow us to continue supporting other fast-growing Scottish companies.

“This is an excellent example of how BGF can help high-growth businesses – our capital helped unlock significant opportunities for Stevenswood to fuel its expansion.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with managing director Ron Hepburn and his team over the last 18 months to grow this highly-successful business and I wish them every success for the future.”

Ron Hepburn, managing director at Stevenswood, added: “The growth capital and expertise that BGF brought to the table helped us to expand our business much more quickly than we would have been able to on our own. 

“Opening ten trade counters in just under two years has really transformed Stevenswood into a national brand and no doubt brought us to the attention of other players in the market.

“As a result, it helped open up the opportunity to combine Stevenswood with PTC to create a group with 26 trade counters across the UK.

“I’m looking forward to the next stage of Stevenswood’s development as we continue to grow our UK presence.”

As well as investing cash in the business, BGF also introduced expertise and advice in the form of Graham as investment director, David Pearson as chairman and Murray McGarvie as finance director.

Pearson is a former group commercial director of Focus Wickes, while McGarvie is an experienced finance director with a proven track record in both manufacturing and retail businesses. 

Stevenswood was founded in 1997 by Hepburn and his now retired business partner, Dave Flynn.

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