James Briggs Ltd (JBL), the long-standing aerosol and consumer chemicals manufacturer, has completed a funding deal to support future growth and investment in new product innovation.
The Oldham-based company, majority owned since 2013 by transformational investor Endless LLP, was founded in 1830 and now employs more than 400 people at two sites in the town.
The renewal of an existing £7.5m committed working capital facility with Royal Bank of Scotland Invoice Finance (RBSIF) to the end of September 2018, was welcomed by Chief Financial Officer Paul Blackaby, who said: “This new facility provides the Group with the certainty of long-term financing with a partner with whom we have already worked for a number of years and with whom we enjoy an excellent relationship. “The facility will enable the company to fulfil its future plans in an efficient and cost effective manner.”
The RBSIF deal follows a £2.4m growth capital investment in the business by Endless in December 2016, and the strategic sale in February 2017 of its non-core Premiere Products business to Selden Research Limited in a deal valued at £3m.
Chief Executive Tim Pugh said: “The completion of these three important financial milestones over recent months has been the result of significant effort and skill on the part of the whole James Briggs team and provides the security that the Group needs as it seeks to expand, while fully supporting existing and new customers. “The Group has a proud 186 year heritage as one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of aerosols and consumer chemical products and whilst the last 12 months has been a period of significant change for the business these actions ensure that the business is secure for many years to come.”
Tom Jack, Partner at Endless in Manchester added: “We are pleased to be continuing to support this important, and well-established North West manufacturer as it continues to invest in new technology to secure the future, and at the same time make the business more efficient.”
Newly-filed accounts for James Briggs Holdings for the year to the end of June 2016 show sales grew 10% to £49.9m. Pre-exceptional earnings (EBITDA) fell to £1.6m from £2.9m in 2015, the result of challenging market conditions.
Meanwhile the company has expanded its product range and invested around £60,000 in new ‘on demand’ printing technology. This has provided greater flexibility in the manufacturing process and shorter lead times, importantly making smaller batch production more flexible and economical.
Among the new product launches is a larger 400ml size for its popular Hycote automotive paint range and a broader range of its Hycote touch-up colour brushes, which are used by DIY car enthusiasts and bodyshops.
James Briggs has also expanded its Nilco cleaning products range with the launch of a fabric protecting spray and a washroom and bathroom cleaner and descaler with anti-bacterial sanitiser.