SLF successfully exits education equipment specialist Spaceright
Maven has led a successful exit for the Scottish Loan Fund (SLF) from Spaceright Europe after supporting a growth and acquisitions strategy. Spaceright is a leading manufacturer and supplier of furniture, presentation products, toys and activity equipment for the education sector, providing a range of innovative products for use in nurseries, schools and universities throughout the UK.
Since its original investment in May 2014, SLF has provided £2.2 million of funding to the business, initially backing the acquisition of Educational Technology as well as supporting product development for the enlarged business. In 2015, SLF also supported Spaceright in the acquisition of Millhouse Manufacturing Design, a designer and manufacturer of a complementary range of educational toys and furniture for nurseries and schools.
Spaceright is a notable success story, which has demonstrated the effectiveness of SLF funding in enabling ambitious Scottish companies to achieve their growth plans. Over the period of Maven and SLF involvement the business has almost doubled both turnover and headcount, and now employs around 90 staff across three locations.
Maven worked closely alongside the management team to deliver its acquisitive growth strategy, which has been transformational for the business and would not have been possible without the support of the fund. SLF backing has helped diversify Spaceright’s existing product base, and allowed the company to consolidate its position as a leading supplier to the education sector and move successfully into the early-years market.
Since 2011 SLF has committed over £80 million in support of 31 dynamic, growth-focused Scottish SMEs, and is still actively investing, having completed the most recent investment in July 2016. The exit from Spaceright is the 13th achieved by SLF in four years, and has delivered another strong return for the fund.
David Milroy, Investment Director at Maven, commented: “We are delighted to have been able to support Spaceright in achieving such strong growth since 2014. We have been impressed by the management team’s drive and vision, which has seen Spaceright grow, both organically and through two successful acquisitions, to create an enlarged business with a market leading early-years offering. Spaceright’s success exemplifies the potential for the Scottish Loan Fund to support dynamic businesses in achieving their growth aspirations.”
Alan Symon, Director at Spaceright, said: “We are extremely appreciative of the value of Scottish Loan Fund and Maven support in our recent growth, and in particular with the completion of two very important acquisitions which have established Spaceright’s overall offering as the most comprehensive in the sector. This success would not have been possible without the financial support of SLF and the strategic and commercial input of the Maven team. Working with Maven has been a great experience and the outcome has been very successful for all involved.”
Michelle Kinnaird, Investment Director at Scottish Investment Bank, said: “The Scottish Loan Fund continues to be a valuable source of finance for ambitious, growth-oriented SMEs, and it’s great to see the impact that this funding has had on helping to take Spaceright to the next level. We hope that other companies in a similar position will see this success and be inspired to consider how best they can finance their own growth plans.”