Biggest equity cheque

Maven fund backs buy-out at CMS Window Systems


Managers have acquired the window manufacturer


CMS Window Systems has been acquired by its managers in a transaction which includes the largest equity cheque written by private equity adviser Maven Capital Partners.

The MBO has been supported by debt funding from Clydesdale Bank led by its corporate and structured finance team, and additional equity from the Scottish Investment Bank. Exiting investors include mid-market private equity firm, LDC. Details on the deal were not disclosed.

CMS specialises in designing, manufacturing and installing energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly products. Established in 2006, it operates from its 15-acre headquarters in Cumbernauld with an additional door manufacturing facility in Fife. 

The company undertakes contracts for some of the largest housing investment programmes and commercial build projects in the UK and has long-standing relationships with many of Scotland’s local authorities to refurbish their social housing stock, and has recently extended its reach to local authorities in the North of England.

CMS has enjoyed a record year. New commercial contracts, such as the flagship Atlantic Square development in Glasgow, and strong recurring revenues from long-standing customer relationships, have contributed to turnover increasing to more than £36 million. 

Maven has taken a majority equity investment in the company which will enable CMS to further pursue its social housing strategy, targeting the larger addressable market in England, as well as capitalising on the increased demand for energy-efficient windows and doors in new-build housing. 

The transaction is the fourth investment made by Maven’s UK Regional Buyout Fund, which recently announced its final close, having raised £100m from a diverse range of investors.

Andrew CraigAndrew Craig, pictured, partner at Maven, commented: “We are delighted to add this ambitious business to our growing portfolio. The transaction demonstrates our aim to support management buyouts in some of the most impressive and entrepreneurial businesses in the lower-mid market. CMS has experienced year on year growth and is managed by an impressive management team with significant experience of the sector.

“The company has also invested heavily in its two manufacturing facilities ensuring that there is sufficient spare capacity to fulfil its undoubted growth potential.” 

David Ritchie, CEO of CMS Window Systems, added: “Partnering with Maven marks the beginning of an exciting new era for CMS and its employees, and will enable, us to create new jobs as we grow. With our established management team continuing to lead the business, it is very much ‘business as usual’ so customers, supply chain partners and other stakeholders will experience no changes in working with us.

“We will be announcing more detail about our immediate plans soon, which will support our strategy to develop our share of the market for windows and doors in the new build housing, commercial, social housing and trade sectors.”

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