Maven leads secondary MBO of Just Trays

Maven has completed a multi-million pound investment to back the incumbent management team of Yorkshire based Just Trays Limited (JT), to acquire the business from Gresham Private Equity (Gresham).

JT was established in 1988 and has since grown to become the UK’s leading manufacturer of shower trays and related accessories, with all product design, development and production undertaken at its main facility in Leeds.

The business sells its range of products direct to trade partners in the construction and housing market and now accounts for around 28% of the UK market. Having built up an enviable reputation in the sector for the quality of its products, innovative design and customer service, the business has been able to maintain high levels of customer loyalty for the JT brand.

Under the current management team, which previously led a MBO backed by Gresham and RBS in 2006, the business has demonstrated its resilience within a market impacted directly by the UK recession. The business has been highly professionalised under private equity ownership in recent years, and is well placed to benefit from the improving economy and housing market.

The investment from Maven will help JT to implement its growth strategy, which is focussed on increasing sales through export markets as well as developing new routes to market and expanding its current product range.

Ryan Bevington, Investment Director at Maven, said: “Just Trays is a great UK manufacturing business which received financial backing before the recession, but saw its core market decline from 2008 as the recession impacted the housing and construction markets. It is a credit to the management team that the business has remained profitable and cash generative throughout this period and we believe it is now well placed to capitalise on its position as the UK’s leading shower tray brand. The management team led by Paul Crossley is excited about the future and we look forward to helping them achieve their goals.”

Paul Crossley, Managing Director at Just Trays added: “The timing was right for everyone concerned for JT to find a financial partner to back us on the next stage of our growth strategy, as we look at new routes to market, overseas expansion and bolt-on acquisitions. We are delighted to have found a financial partner in Maven who understand our ambitions and are supportive of UK manufacturing businesses. The Maven team is local and it was important that we find a partner both accessible and with experience of helping growth businesses.”

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