Tue, 24 Oct 2023 | BUSINESS SALE
Vale Brothers, a Walsall-headquartered manufacturer of products for the equestrian industry, has been acquired out of administration. The firm has been acquired by a company controlled by Baaj Capital in a deal that will maintain UK manufacturing at its main sites in Walsall and Cardigan, Wales.
The company, which was founded in 1786 and is reported to be the world’s largest manufacturer of horse grooming brushes, posted an initial notice of intention to appoint administrators in late September, before filing a second notice earlier this month.
Chris Lewis and Diana Frangou of RSM UK Restructuring Advisory LLP were ultimately appointed as joint administrators to the company on October 18 and subsequently secured the sale, following a marketing process that saw significant interest in the business.
The company has seen substantial growth over the past 20 years, making several acquisitions of complementary companies that have enabled it to add products including whips, saddles, leisure bags, bridles and horse rugs to its range via sister companies such as Harry Dabbs, Thermatex and Jeffries Saddlery.
Speaking to industry publication Horse & Hound last month, Vale Brothers Managing Director Peter Wilkes spoke of his optimism that the company would find a buyer and said that it had been impacted by COVID-19 and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Wilkes said that the war had led to material costs increasing by between 10 and 150 per cent and on average by around 35 per cent.
He added: “So our selling prices have of course had to increase, and we’ve had to absorb some of those costs, so our margins have been hit. And at the same time, the distress the world economy is in – this is different to other recessions in that they tend to have a regional centre; the financial crash didn’t affect many countries that didn’t have a banking system like the UK and US, but this is global.”
Following the successful sale out of administration, joint administrator Chris Lewis said: “"We are delighted to secure the sale of the Vale Brothers business in a short timeframe, following a marketing process that generated substantial interest. The restructuring has protected a significant number of jobs and improves the return to the company's creditors.”
Baaj Capital LLP Chief Executive Jas Singh said that the acquisition “marks a move forward in the widening of Baaj's interests in both manufacturing and online marketing” and added that he was confident that Vale Brothers could continue grow “with new efficiencies and added funding.”
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