Pictured above: (l-r) Adrian Reynolds of Duncan & Toplis, Mark Spivey and Rob Massey of Forum Packaging and Jeremy Wetherall of Queensgate Management
The future of Horncastle’s second largest employer has been secured after a management buyout brokered by Lincoln firm Queensgate Management.
D S Smith Sacks, a division of D S Smith plc, which employs 83 workers at its Mareham Road site, has been acquired by its managing director and finance director and relaunched as Forum Packaging.
The new management team of Mark Spivey and Rob Massey say all the jobs at the company are safe and they have already taken on an extra four employees in response to a growing order book.
“This is a great acquisition for everyone involved,” said Jeremy Wetherall of Queensgate Management.
“The business is profitable but it wasn’t part of D S Smith’s core strategic vision and with new investment Forum Packaging will be able to move forward with confidence.”
Forum Packaging makes paper sacks and bags for a range of sectors including food, animal feed, chemicals and cement. It also provides pre-print services to the corrugated industry.
Formerly part of the LINPAC group, the factory has been in Horncastle since 1964 and was acquired by D S Smith in 2004.
Managing Director Mark Spivey is looking forward to a period of expansion and growth for Forum Packaging.
“It’s business as usual as far as our employees are concerned but we’ll be looking at other acquisitions too and aiming to grow into other market sectors where we can,” he said.
“We have a long-term vision for the business. We both live close by and the main reason for buying it was to secure the future of the site in Horncastle.
“We’re very happy with the existing team and we’ve got a lot of experience here to drive the business forward; the people within the business were one of the main reasons why we bought it.”
Around £500,000 has already been invested in a new roof for the factory and Mark says that in future more profits will be reinvested in the business locally.
“We want to continually invest in this site and make it more efficient using new technology,” he said.
The acquisition was sealed in just four months thanks to the involvement of Queensgate Management.
“Queensgate were fundamental to the success of the deal,” said Mark. “Jeremy acted as our corporate finance advisor, structured the deal and then identified potential funders.
“He co-ordinated the whole deal, kept it on track and saw it through to completion in a very short time period.”
Funding for the acquisition was provided by Lloyds TSB, legal support was provided by FreethCartwright in Nottingham and Lincolnshire accountants Duncan & Toplis are acting as tax and audit advisors.
Peter Whitehouse from Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance said: “We are delighted to have supported Forum Packaging with its finances at this crucial time for the business. Our team carefully structured facilities that have helped secure the deal quickly and smoothly, securing the future of this thriving firm.”