Scottish Loan Fund investment aids the expansion of Spaceright

The Scottish Loan Fund (SLF) is pleased to announce that it has invested £1.3 million in Spaceright Europe Limited (Spaceright), a trusted name in the education supplies market.

The SLF funding package has enabled Spaceright to acquire complementary business, Educational Technology Limited (Edtech). The deal represents the Fund’s 17th investment.
Set up in 2011 by the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, and managed by Maven, the £113 million SLF provides loans of up to £5 million to ambitious Scottish SMEs. Since launch the SLF has committed over £40 million in support of growth-focused companies.

Cumbernauld-based Spaceright is a long established supplier to the education sector. The company designs, manufactures and sources a range of established and respected brands for daily use in schools (nursery, primary and secondary), colleges and universities throughout the UK. Sales predominantly consist of educational display and presentation products in addition to mobile folding furniture for school dining.

Spaceright’s continued product innovation has seen the business recently launch ‘Inspirational Playgrounds’, a range of products aimed at creating stimulating and educational outdoor learning environments. Outdoor learning is viewed as an increasingly important part of a child’s development and there is growing demand for high-quality and durable playground solutions. This range caters for all primary school ages including teaching of numeracy and literacy in early-years and the acquisition of Edtech will further strengthen Spaceright’s early-years offering enabling it to provide schools with high quality, low cost screen printed plastic resources, specifically designed to aid the teaching of core curriculum subjects.

Management have ambitious plans for Spaceright and the acquisition of Edtech will help the business build on the strong revenue growth seen in recent years. SLF is ideally placed to support the working capital requirements of the enlarged business and to help fund sales and marketing initiatives designed to raise the profile of the Inspirational Playgrounds range and the Edtech offering.

David Milroy, Investment Director at Maven, commented: “We are pleased to support Spaceright in making this exciting acquisition which further demonstrates the ability of the Scottish Loan Fund to support a range of businesses in achieving their growth aspirations. We have been impressed by management’s vision both in terms of growing the business organically and via targeted acquisitions. Building on internal initiatives such as the launch of the Inspirational Playgrounds range, we share management’s view that Spaceright and Edtech are an excellent fit not only in terms of the customers they are targeting and route to market but critically they create an enlarged business with a very strong early-years offering.”

Commenting on the transaction, Steve Ashton, Managing Director at Spaceright, said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of Edtech which complements and broadens our existing core product range, establishing the Spaceright proposition as the most comprehensive in the sector. This is an important part of our targeted growth strategy which would not have been possible without the support of Maven and the Scottish Loan Fund whose commercial approach and assistance throughout the transaction was greatly appreciated.”

Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “The Scottish Loan Fund has, and continues to be, a valuable source of finance for established, growth-oriented SMEs, many of whom are significant employers in their areas. Spaceright’s expansion through this acquisition is exactly the type of ambitious growth plan that the fund was set up to support.”

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