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Buy-in opens door to growth for one of Yorkshire’s leading fabricators

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One of the region’s long-established privately owned PVC fabrication businesses has changed hands in a management buy-in, with the transaction providing an exit for the original founder shareholders.  

The £22m turnover SASH-Fitrite group, based in Barnsley and operating under the brands Sash UK and Fitrite Fencing & Decking, has been acquired by John Ross and Nick Lilburn, both of whom were part of the former management team at Bradford-based SafeStyle Group.

The Yorkshire offices of corporate finance adviser Dow Schofield Watts and legal firm Squire Patton Boggs advised them on the purchase and subsequent fundraising, with the transaction backed by London-based private debt fund Praesidian Capital Europe.  

Having recently celebrated 50 years since its foundation, Sash UK is one of the North’s leading fabricators of windows and doors and Fitrite, set up in 2010, is one of the UK’s market leaders in the supply of uPVC decking. The group employs approximately 180 staff at its head office and main production facility in South Yorkshire.  

John Ross, managing director, said: “It’s great to be back operating in the industry again and Sash, as a long-established and successful fabricator in Yorkshire, provides Nick and myself with the ideal platform for doing so. Our plan for Sash is simple – to continue where the previous owners left off by focusing firmly on the trade, commercial and housebuilding revenue streams of the business.” 

The Dow Schofield Watts team, which included Paul Herriott and Matt Thompson, was led by Tony Norwood, Director. He said: “John and Nick’s track record and knowledge of the glazing industry is unparalleled and we are delighted to have advised them on negotiating the purchase of the businesses and the required fundraising that now sees them back leading a key business in the region. 

“Sash represents Dow Schofield Watts’ fourth completed deal in South Yorkshire in 2016. With previous deals including the MBOs of Yorkshire Repak and Redline, the region continues to be a core market for us.” 

Richard Hunt, corporate partner at Squire Patton Boggs, led a legal team across several service lines including tax, banking and property. He said: “It’s fantastic to see John and Nick get back involved in the sector and we are delighted to have helped them make it happen.

“Under their stewardship and combined with long-term funding support of Praesidian Capital Europe, the combined business now has fantastic growth potential.”  

HSBC, as incumbent bank, has continued to provided clearing and invoice finance facilities to the group.

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