£5 million joint venture flies the flag for Yorkshire manufacturing

A Yorkshire entrepreneur has entered a joint venture worth £5million with London fund Marcol on three manufacturing firms in East Yorkshire.

Marcol is a property company with assets in excess of £2.5bn in the UK and Europe and invests in businesses which utilise real estate assets on which they feel they can add value.

Andrew Foreman is matching the investment made by Marcol to allow strategic growth in the three modular building firms, which are based near Beverley on the Catfoss Industrial Estate.

The companies will operate under a 50/50 joint partnership. Corporate law firm Shulmans advised on the deal.

The aim of the venture is to grow the businesses to become the leaders in modular construction, providing sustainable solutions UK wide.

Catfoss Eco Modular Living Ltd manufactures bespoke modular buildings for both businesses and consumers, and works with companies such as Shell PLC.

One of the firm’s buildings, Rufus Lodge, a Passive House boasting to be one of the most insulated homes in Europe, featured last week on the BBC2 show, Building Dream Homes.

The second company, Catfoss Modular and Portable Buildings Ltd, flies the recycling flag by refurbishing previously used modular buildings for further use in the private and public sector.

The third company, Catfoss Cabin Hire Ltd, specialises in portable cabins for long and short term hire across all sectors.

The Group currently employs 40 people, but the aim is to increase this to 140 over the next three years.

Marcol has a number of similar investments in operating businesses with caravan parks, hotels, residential care homes, residential post rehabilitation centres and cold stores and is  currently looking at a number of other joint ventures with businesses in Yorkshire and around the UK.

Andrew Foreman has worked in the modular building industry for almost 25 years, having previously built up and sold businesses in the sector.

He said:

“Strategically, this joint venture allows us to drive forward the companies much more quickly, which we were very keen to do.

“I could see the potential in all of the businesses, and all of them operate in markets which are in growth again. Modular buildings are far superior now.

“You can even get mortgages and insurance on them, as they meet current building regs and NHBC standards. 

“They also have the benefit of being quick to erect and highly energy efficient.

“I felt passionately that the businesses should stay and grow in East Yorkshire, which is the traditional hub of modular building manufacturing, employing local people and working with local suppliers.

“Obviously it has been difficult for any business to get bank funding in recent years, and so approaching a London fund seemed a good idea to help us inject the necessary additional cash to really give us the chance to grow as we know the businesses can.

“Marcol is an ideal match and it is a partnership which will see them continue to match any investment we make in the future.

“It was also a pleasure to work with the team at Shulmans, with whom we have a long relationship – they treat you like an individual and really understand how entrepreneurs work.

“They, like me, have a real passion to drive things through to completion.”

Andrew was involved in a serious horse-riding accident in November 2013, which delayed the deal, but Shulmans was fundamental in keeping things moving whilst Andrew recovered.

Simon Jackson was the team lead, supported by corporate partner Emma Greenwood.

Simon Jackson at Shulmans said:

“We have worked for some years now with Andrew and his team, and it has very much become a partnership – we understand how they operate.

“It was great to work on a deal which helps secure and grow employment in Yorkshire – and also flies the flag for British manufacturing.

“The transactions were challenging due to the complexity and timing constraints involved, but the deal was very much driven by the spirit, skill and determination of Andrew.

“We look forward to working with him, and the Catfoss Group of companies, for many years to come.”

Andrew Foreman
Andrew Foreman

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