Sentio advises on MBO of Wakefield Acoustics

L to R: Andy Miller (Sentio Partners), Ian Waterfield (YFM Equity Partners), Jane Dawson and Lee Nicholson (both Wakefield Acoustics)

Sentio Partners has advised the management team on the management buyout of Wakefield Acoustics, a specialist industrial acoustic engineering business, in a £4m deal. The MBO was backed by YFM Equity Partners who are also providing funding to support the future growth plans of the business.

The MBO is being led by Lee Nicholson who, with over 12 years’ experience in the business, will become Managing Director. Chris Brown will join as non-executive Chairman with previous MD and owner, Jane Dawson, retaining an executive role in the business. The other members of the MBO team are Paul Hebden, Finance Director, Kevin Dawson, Operations Director and Rob Lomax, Sales Director.

Lee Nicholson, Managing Director said: “We have ambitious plans for the business which include developing and broadening the product range, consolidating our two current manufacturing facilities into a new facility in 2015 and delivering significant sales growth. Additional senior sales and engineering resource was recruited in 2014 to support these growth plans”.

Wakefield Acoustics, based in Cleckheaton, Bradford, designs, manufactures and installs a range of bespoke industrial and environmental noise control solutions. The business, founded in 1980, was acquired by Jane Dawson in 2005 and has recorded consistent growth over recent years establishing a strong market position with leading blue chip engineering companies supplying globally into sectors such as power, oil and gas, water waste and general manufacturing.

The UK acoustics market is estimated at £300m in the UK growing at 13% pa. The main drivers for this growth are the increasing noise control and environmental regulations worldwide along with the recent upturn in infrastructure investment which has also driven market demand as all new projects must meet increasingly stringent noise control requirements.

Andy Miller, Partner at Sentio said “Given the strong market position Wakefield Acoustics has established over 30 years this is an exciting next step for the business. The support of YFM and Jane Dawson to an ambitious and highly skilled management team will enable the business to remain at the forefront of industrial noise control technology ”.

Ian Waterfield, Investment Director at YFM Equity Partners in Yorkshire added: “We are backing a strong business in Wakefield Acoustics. 2015 will be a busy year for the team with a growing pipeline of business and consolidation of their manufacturing facilities into a new site. Management have ambitious growth plans and excellent experience, and I am pleased that we are retaining the experience and support of Jane Dawson”.

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