Further support for key exporter

Moulded Foams to roll-out expansion after BGF backing

Patrick Graham

Paddy Graham: ‘Moulded Foams reflects and underpins British exporting’ (pic: Terry Murden)


Britain’s largest independent manufacturer of moulded foam products has secured investment from BGF to finance its next stage of development.

Moulded Foams makes air products used to protect food and goods and insulate buildings for both export and domestic markets. It operates from bases at Cumbernauld, Peterhead, Blackwood in South Wales, and Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire.

Managing director John Thornberry led a management buyout of the Cumbernauld business in 2006 when turnover was £2 million. Since then it has seen rapid growth, delivering close to £20m in 2018. The business was also listed among the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ in 2013.

He said: “We have grown the business through innovation – we work closely with our customers to develop products that meet their needs. Having factories close to our customers’ sites allows us to maintain a high level of customer service whilst ensuring costs are managed.

So far, we’ve expanded our operations through a mixture of organic growth and targeted acquisitions. With BGF’s investment and broad network, we hope to continue Moulded Foams growth trajectory.”

Paddy Graham, head of Central Scotland and NI for BGF, added: “Moulded Foams has grown extremely well over the last ten years, with a clear focus on innovation and sustainability.

“Not only is it a success story in its own right, it’s also a business that reflects and underpins the success of British exporting – more than 40% of the foams it produces are used by other businesses to sell their wares overseas. 

“The company has been a key part of the Scottish salmon industry’s growth, which saw exports to leap to a record £600m last year.

It is also committed to improving the industry’s environmental credentials by offering collection services to customers and using recycled packaging in its construction products.

BGF originally met John back in early 2017 and it has been great getting to know him and the wider management since then. The team’s understanding of the market and commitment to driving the business is second to none, and we look forward to supporting the business in its next phase of growth.”

Euan Baxter, an investor at BGF in Edinburgh, will join the board of Moulded Foams as part of the funding deal.

BGF provides long-term patient capital to businesses with revenues typically between £5m and £100m in exchange for a minority, non-controlling stake. BGF invests exclusively in small and mid-sized firms headquartered in the UK and Ireland and is now the most active growth investor in the world.

BGF investments in Scotland during 2018 included £6.75m in Walker Precision Engineering, which makes high-precision components for the defence and space sectors, to support its business expansion in the UK and Europe.

It also completed its first investment in the Scottish Highlands with Parklands Group, the Moray-based independent care home business, to support its £10.5m development plans in the Highlands.

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