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EBS secures BGF investment

BGF News 12.15.2017

European Braking Systems (EBS), a manufacturer and seller of air brake and vehicle control systems, has secured significant investment from BGF to support product development and accelerate international growth.

The business, founded and headquartered in Greater Manchester, manufactures and distributes a range of component systems including friction, brake discs, complete brake systems including ABS and EBS designed to improve braking responsiveness and safety.

Through its distribution hubs in Trafford Park, London and Dublin the company exports to more than 40 countries worldwide including Russia, China and North America, and generated sales of £22m in 2017.

Since it was established by chief executive Mark Luby in 2000, EBS has grown organically and through a series of acquisitions. Most recently the group acquired Drakefield, a Brentwood-based wholesaler of air brake systems, providing greater access to London and the South East.

BGF’s funding will be used to expand the EBS own-branded product range, establish a distribution centre in mainland Europe, and explore future acquisition opportunities. Also planned for early in 2018 is a brand new 3500 sq metre manufacturing and quality control centre located on the same site as EBS headquarters in Trafford park.

The company will complete the implementation of its full ecommerce online trading centre to enhance sales and marketing activity which has historically been driven by telesales and industry trade shows.

As part of group’s future growth strategy, EBS has appointed non-executive Chairman Mike Molesworth following an introduction by BGF. Mike is the former CEO of Dennis Eagle, the global supplier of Refuse Collection Trucks.

The investment into EBS, which makes BGF a minority partner in the business, was led by Rhys Davenport and Neil Inskip.

Mark Luby, CEO, EBS said: “EBS has experienced significant growth over the past 17 years through focusing on quality, scale, infrastructure and people.

“BGF’s funding gives us the opportunity to accelerate that growth while retaining control of the business. Whilst we explored other options, their culture and approach was best suited to our longer-term growth strategy.”

Neil Inskip, an investor at BGF who joins the board of EBS said: “Mark has established EBS as a well-run, resource-rich and cash-generative business with scope for further expansion in the UK and internationally. With a first-class reputation for innovation and distribution, we are pleased to be supporting their strategy for further growth.”

BGF, the UK’s most active investor in growing businesses, backs a number of companies across the North West including RSM International, Kids Planet, RSK Group and High Access. BGF’s investments in the automotive industry include precision engineers VTL Group, stampings manufacturer Sertec Group, and high-tech paint finisher Paintbox.