The Chelverton Investor Club – very much in vogue given the growing appetite amongst investors for crowd-funding and more direct forms of participation – raised £1.2m of equity from its High Net Worth membership towards the acquisition of Crawley-based Tufwell Glass from Laidlaw Interiors Group for a consideration of £2.4m, investing alongside Brownhills Glass (a trade partner), with supporting debt finance from Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance.

Tufwell, a market-leading and long-established glass processing business, supplies toughened, laminated and mirrored glass for contractors and end-users throughout London and the South East, with recent installations in the iconic Shard and at the Olympic Park.

The Company’s focus on a strong service ethic, with quick turnaround on low volume specialist requirements, has enabled the business to thrive during the recession, which has seen other businesses, similarly centred on the construction sector, struggle. Its strong performance has mirrored that of Walsall-based Brownhills Glass, which delivers a similar proposition to its largely Midlands-based customers, with significant synergistic benefits expected to derive from the alliance of the two businesses moving forward.

The deal was sourced by experienced corporate financier Steve Thornhill, working with his long-time client Brownhills Glass. Laidlaw Interiors Group had appointed BDO to secure a sale of Tufwell, its non-core glass division, and Brownhills and its funding partners were quickly identified as ideal purchasers.

Chelverton Asset Management Investment Director, Richard Bucknell, who led the deal for Chelverton, and who will join the Board of Tufwell, commented: “We quickly built a rapport with Steve and the Brownhills team, and given the strong track record of the business, good prospects for an up-turn in the commercial construction sector, and the value-added that will come from the Brownhills alliance, we were able to gain support from our investors. Tufwell is a great example of the type of business and deal that our members club is keen to support.”

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