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State-of-the-art filtration systems for cleaning fluids and gas

Amazon Filters

Keeping it in the family

When Mike Pizzey founded fluid filtration business Amazon Filters in 1985, it sold industrial filters and associated hardware made by different suppliers, and traded on his in-depth knowledge and strong network of contacts. Thirty-five years later Amazon Filters manufactures all of its own products, from the filters themselves to the housings that they sit in.

“We have our main manufacturing site in Camberley, Surrey and a factory in Poland too,” says Mike’s son Neil, now managing director of the family business. “Any industrial user of liquid or gas is a potential customer, so we work with businesses in anything from food and beverage, to ink, coatings, paints and more. Anyone that needs to clean up a liquid, really.”

The family-owned business is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of bespoke filter housings and cartridges.

Fluid expertise

Following BGF's investment, Amazon Filters were introduced to Paul Barnard, who was appointed as non-executive chair.

BGF Talent Network  

External input

Neil explains that the business has grown organically over time, with a healthy export business helping to broaden its reach. “We’ve made the most of a large, growing market,” he says.

The business looked at bringing in a third-party investor in 2018, not necessarily to fund growth, but rather to generate it through external input.

“We wanted to re-inspire and reconfigure ourselves in terms of growth and ambition,” says Neil. “When you’re working insularly within the company for over 30 years you can become quite inward-looking. We wanted the discipline of committing ourselves to something and felt the best way to do it was to bring in an external party.”

BGF's investment has helped Amazon Filters...

Bring discipline to the business without threatening its legacy and values.

Target 50% growth in three to four years.

Focus on the future of the company.

More discipline

The company met with a host of potential investors, but Neil says BGF was the obvious choice for them.

“The concept of patient capital is a powerful one for a business like ours,” he explains. “We wanted the perspective of an external partner but we were very wary of an aggressive third-party investor threatening our legacy and values.”

Neil says the investment has brought more discipline to the business, helped by the appointment of non-executive chair Paul Barnard.

“Our board meetings are different to what they were a year ago,” he says. “Because we’re a family business it tended to be quite operational and a bit of a social chat. That’s all changed. And that’s precisely what we wanted.”

Our board meetings are different to what they were a year ago… because we’re a family business it tended to be quite operational and a bit of a social chat. That’s all changed. And that’s precisely what we wanted.

 

Neil Pizzey, managing director of Amazon Filters

250

Amazon Filters now serves over 250 customers around the world.

Fresh pair of eyes

Looking to the future, the company is aiming to expand the company by at least 50% in the next three or four years.

“A fresh pair of eyes has really injected some growth ambitions and helped us to focus on the future of the company.”

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