Scots fund advised by Scots lawyers

Panoramic leads MBO of bathroom specialist Plumbworld

David WilsonPanoramic Growth Equity, the Glasgow-based equity investor, has supported the management buy-out (MBO) of bathroom products e-commerce retailer Online Home Retail.

Online Home Retail, trading as, offers high-end bathroom products to the trade and public.

Panoramic backed a team led by the original founder of the business, James Hickman, to acquire the Evesham-based company from Irish listed builders’ merchant Grafton Group.

It is the seventh investment for Panoramic’s second fund and on this deal it received legal advice from Keith Dinsmore and his team at Edinburgh-based legal services firm Vialex.

Since establishing in 1999, Plumbworld has served more than 1.5m customers and last year generated over £26m in annual revenue, according to its latest published financial statements.

David Wilson, partner at Panoramic (pictured), said: “We were excited by the prospect of backing a well-established e-commerce business. The MBO team have all the skills and experience to take the business forward in leaps and bounds. Retailing is clearly increasingly moving online, and Plumbworld are at the forefront of that shift.”

Mr Hickman said it was the right time for the MBO and being independent will allow the business to take advantage of opportunities in the online bathroom marketplace.

“The e-commerce consumer market is very fast moving and intensely competitive,” he said,. “It requires quick decision making, calculated risk taking and a ruthless focus on eliminating avoidable costs. We believe being independent will offer us greater agility and enable us to focus 100% of our efforts on delivering growth and improving profitability”.

Panoramic’s investment was led by Mr Wilson, supported by Senior Investment Manager David Atkinson. Jeremy Cole and David Middleton of Cole Associates Corporate Finance provided corporate finance advice to the MBO team.  James Cowper chartered accountants provided financial due diligence.

The management team received legal advice from Richard Norton of Charles Russell Speechlys.

Arbuthnot Latham provided debt facilities. Its team was led by Andrew Rutherford and received legal advice from Jon Bew at Irwin Mitchell.

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