SME loan fund supports takeover of family water treatment company

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Photo shows Emma Armitage of Excel Water with Paul Grace of YBFA, left, and Andy Heaton of Mercia.

A family-owned water treatment company was acquired by the founder’s daughter in a seven-figure deal backed by Mercia’s SME loan fund.

The acquisition of Excel Water, based in Yorkshire, gives control of the company to Emma Armitage, the current managing director, and allows the partial retirement of her brother Darren Field. Emma now aims to increase its turnover by 20% over the coming year and create four new jobs, with the company aiming for growth resulting from opportunities such as water deregulation.

Excel Water, which is based in Allerton Bywater, manufactures and installs commercial water treatment systems for businesses across the country – typically those producing products such as food, pharmaceuticals, automotive and cleaning products that require higher quality water for production purposes.

It is one of the few companies of its type that can provide a full range of services from initial water analysis and borehole treatment to plant servicing and maintenance. The company has set up factories for organizations such as Astonish cleaning products in Bradford, the BMW factory in Oxford and the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Excel Water was established in 1992 by Brian Field who previously worked in the water industry. It currently employs nine people, including Darren’s son, James Field. Emma joined the company in 2004 after working in the waste management industry and has been Managing Director since 2014.

Emma Armitage said: “I am proud to take over the family business and intend to make the most of the opportunities ahead. Deregulation of the water industry in recent years has given businesses greater control over their water supply, allowing them to save on their utility bills. At the same time, there is more emphasis on saving water for environmental reasons. I look forward to working with our loyal team to take the business to the next stage of its development. »

SME loans are one of the few funds capable of supporting a management buyout of a small business using debt financing alone. Andy Heaton from Mercia added: “Emma is a very impressive leader who has built a strong team. We are pleased to be able to support the takeover of this successful family business in a deal that will help secure its future and the jobs of its staff, and position it for future growth. »

Paul Grace of YBFA provided fundraising advice to the company. He said: “It has been a pleasure working with Emma and structuring the financing for the management buy-out. Since our first meeting, his passion and enthusiasm have shone through, and I have full confidence that the business will go from strength to strength. Mercia demonstrated a deep understanding of the business and provided a unique financing structure that allowed the buyout to occur while allowing sufficient cash to be reinvested for future growth.

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