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Uform Group gets BGF investment

Investment news
07.01.2019.

Antrim-based kitchen door and component supplier Uform has secured a multimillion pound funding package from BGF and Danske Bank. BGF is the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in small and mid-sized businesses.

Uform is the fifth company in Northern Ireland to receive investment from BGF which has taken a minority shareholding in the business. Uform designs and paint finishes a wide range of kitchen doors and accessories alongside offering an extensive range of ex-stock products, serving customers across the UK and Ireland.

Uform is known for its wide variety of kitchen door frontal options catering for all segments of the kitchen retail market, with the largest choice and ex-stock availability in the marketplace. Uform supplies over 1,000 kitchens a week to a range of independent retailers. The company will use the investment to expand its strong offering further into the UK, Northern Irish and Republic of Ireland markets.

BGF has provided more than £40m of patient capital to Northern Ireland businesses over the past 3 years. Its current portfolio companies in Northern Ireland are: family-owned housebuilder Braidwater; recycling company RiverRidge; coffee and food shop chain Bob & Berts; and software developer AuditComply.

Eamon Donnelly, CEO of Uform, said: “We started a four-phase growth strategy in 2013 and the business has grown rapidly in that time. We’ve invested heavily in doubling the size of our operation and installed state of the art paint lines to increase our productivity and product range. Uform is an ambitious company and we want to continue our pace of growth across the UK and Ireland in the coming years.

“BGF is a good match for our business and we have already built a very strong relationship with the BGF team – they have bought into our vision of where we want to take the business and the network they bring has opened up many opportunities not just here, but also across Great Britain. Their experience will ensure they help us scale the business, enhance our operational competencies and align our strategic plan to achieve the next few years’ planned growth.”

Patrick Graham, Head of Central Scotland & Northern Ireland at BGF, said: “Uform has had an impressive growth rate over the last few years, tripling its turnover while investing in new technologies and expanding its production capabilities. The company is a long-established family-owned business and one of the largest employers in the Toomebridge area. Eamon and his team bring a wealth of experience and we look forward to helping unlock the company’s potential to be number one in their sector.

“Uform has set itself an ambitious growth target for the next three years and we’re delighted that BGF’s investment will provide the catalyst to achieving those goals.”

Geoff Sharpe, Head of Corporate at Danske Bank, said: “Danske Bank has a longstanding and successful relationship with Uform, having supported the growth of the business as strategic banking partner for over 35 years. Eamon, Paul and the senior management team are extremely passionate about their business and we are delighted to be supporting the future growth of the business together with BGF.”

As part of its investment, Jim Meredith will be joining the board of Uform as the company’s non-executive chairman and Graham Clarke will join the board as BGF Investor Director.

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