James Turner, group managing director, and Richard Smeaton, group finance director.
Richard Smeaton, group finance director, and James Turner, group managing director.
Nick Hill

Yorkshire caravan manufacturer completes second phase of MBO as turnover hits £273m

Swift Group, the caravan, motorhome and holiday home manufacturer, has completed the second phase of a management buyout on 12th March 2018.

Following the MBO, Peter Smith continues as chairman and shareholder alongside the management team.

The transaction was led by James Turner, group managing director, and Richard Smeaton, group finance director.

James Turner said: “We are delighted that the strong and established relationships between all shareholders within Swift has delivered this transaction. This maintains a solid and secure base for the strategic growth of the business, and retains ownership of the business within the current shareholder groups, who have together delivered the great success story that is Swift.

“A core aim of the deal was to ensure the long term future of the business, and to continue the orderly transition of ownership which commenced with the first Management buyout transaction in 2012.”

Along with James and Richard, the existing management team remain, being Amy Archer – deputy managing director, Andy Spacey – technical director, Chris Milburn – design director, Graham Raper – supply chain director, Tony Miskin – transport director, and Nicholas Page – commercial director.

The Group also announced its results for the year to August 2017, which saw turnover grow by over 8% to a record £273m, and EBITDA grew to £24m, up from £22.5m in 2016.

Peter Smith, chairman, said: “The business is in great shape, and this deal builds upon the success of the first Management buyout transaction. Significant potential exists for the team to grow the business further, both in the UK and internationally.

“Now was the right time for all shareholders to ensure the foundations are as strong as possible to deliver this growth.”

Finance has been provided by HSBC.

Scott Christian, HSBC’s relationship director for North Yorkshire and Humber, also commented: “We believe that the Management team, Chairman and shareholders in place have the best understanding of how to manage the future of this thriving Yorkshire business and we’re proud to provide financial backing for this transaction.

“Ambitious growth strategies are crucial for UK businesses, and we are here to help Swift Group with opportunities to grow its business in the UK and beyond.”

Swift is the largest single brand leisure vehicle manufacturer in Europe, and the largest manufacturer in the UK. Over 1,250 people are employed by the Group, which was founded in 1964 by Ken Smith, the father of the current Chairman, Peter Smith.

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