Backing for fuel giant buy-out deal

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Lloyds Bank has backed a partial buy-out of CPL Industries, the Chesterfield group that ranks as Europe’s largest manufacturer of smokeless fuel products.

CPL was founded in 1973 to bring together British Coal’s non-mining operations and was sold to its management team in 1995.

Previous majority shareholder RBS and two former members of the management team have now sold their stakes. Private equity shareholder Vision Capital has taken a majority stake, with members of the senior management team holding the remaining shares.

CPL employs more than 500 people and produces around 300,000 tonnes of smokeless solid fuel briquettes, for heating homes, each year.

The company’s market leading brands include Homefire and Ecoal, the leading eco-friendly solid fuel, which CPL sells direct to households and through supermarket chains, DIY stores and petrol forecourt operators.

CPL has also developed a successful export business, with sales from France, Germany and Ireland generating a significant part of overall revenue.

The current management team have been in place for six years and have overseen a 45 per cent rise in sales to £140 million during the same period.

CPL’s chief executive, Tim Minett, said: “The transaction reaffirms the long term commitment to the business of the management team.

“The growth that we have achieved in recent years has been built on a strong product offering and through the hard work and dedication of our employees. We remain confident of further growth.

The Corporate team from DLA Piper, led by Rob McKie and including Anna Robson and Tom McHugh, advised long standing clients CPL.