Wales Environmental, a liquid waste management and drainage company headquartered in South Wales, has received a £2m investment from BGF (Business Growth Fund) alongside an additional £1.75m of funding from HSBC. The capital will be used to support the continued geographical expansion of the business across Wales and England.
Founded in 1980, Wales Environmental provides liquid waste removal and drainage services to commercial and domestic customers across Wales and the South West of England. The business generates revenues close to £7m and employs more than 80 people.
In the past two years and under the leadership of Chief Executive Llyr Williams and Chairman Owen Sennitt, the business has expanded its footprint with the acquisition of Cardiff Drain Cleaning Company, Drainology in Devon and Drains Direct in Deeside.
To date, the management team’s acquisition strategy has been supported by funding from Finance Wales, which first backed the business in 2011, and HSBC which has been working with the company for 15 years. Wales Environmental will now benefit from BGF’s financial firepower as well as the continued support from Finance Wales and HSBC as it pursues further organic and acquisitive growth.
This is BGF’s third investment in a company headquartered in Wales and its first equity partnership with a business backed by Finance Wales. The investment was completed by Ned Dorbin and Dan Tapson from BGF’s South West & South Wales team, while Simon Williams led the deal for HSBC. BGF’s Paul Oldham joins the board of the company as part of the investment and Owen Sennitt will continue as Chairman.
Set up in 2011 with £2.5bn to invest, BGF has provided long-term business funding to close to 150 companies. Previous BGF investments in Wales include multichannel retailer BVG Airflo, which is based in Brecon and Barry-headquartered SHS Integrated Services, a provider of scaffolding services.
Llyr Williams, Chief Executive of Wales Environmental said:
“Having successfully completed three acquisitions with the support of Finance Wales and HSBC, we are now ready to scale-up the business even further. Bringing BGF on board as a minority equity partner allows us to further accelerate our organic growth and provides us with additional cash for future acquisitions – all the while retaining control of the business.”
Paul Oldham, Regional Director for BGF said:
“This investment demonstrates our continued desire to back growing businesses headquartered in Wales. Wales Environmental has a strong management team and a successful history of making strategic acquisitions, and we are delighted to be providing funding for further growth. We are also pleased to be working alongside Finance Wales to support the continued expansion of Wales Environmental.
“For BGF nationally, the past month has been the busiest period since we were established, having completed 19 investments since the Referendum vote. We firmly believe that now is not the time for investors or businesses to start putting the brakes on. Now is the time to keep investing, keep partnering and keep innovating – and that is something we are wholeheartedly committed to doing.”
Warren Lewis, HSBC’s Head of Corporate Banking in Wales said:
“We are delighted to be continuing our 15 year relationship with Wales Environmental, with our support previously including the management buyout in 2011. The business has strengthened its management team and infrastructure in order that it can focus on continued growth, and the funding from HSBC will help to achieve this.
“Earlier this year, HSBC launched a £500 million lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Wales, as part of a broader commitment to make banking cheaper and simpler for customers. Wales Environmental is just one example of a business that has and can benefit from this fund.”
Sam Macalister-Smith, Portfolio Executive for Finance Wales said:
“Finance Wales has backed Wales Environmental’s growth for many years and over a number of funding rounds. This £3.75 million deal brings in BGF as new investors to provide additional support for this ambitious business allowing them to continue their growth journey and expand their operations across Wales and England. We look forward to continuing to work with Llyr and the team as they implement their growth plans. As an active co-investor we’re looking forward to working with BGF to support more Welsh SMEs, like Wales Environmental.”