Published: Apr 04, 2022
Focus: Private Equity
EE Smith, who received investment from Maven Investor Partners, are celebrating a major milestone, their 125th anniversary. The business was founded in 1897 by Edward Elijah Smith who supplied and repaired gas stoves and chandeliers from Canning Street, Leicester.
In 1937, Edward Elijah Smith employed a 14-year-old apprentice, Basil Richardson, who, after serving in the Second World War, returned to find Mr Smith in poor health, leaving Basil as the managing director and foreman at just 22!
Basil nurtured the company back to prosperity, and his eldest sons, Rodney and Nigel, worked up through the business to then take over in 1989.
Under their guidance, EE Smith Contracts continued to excel and the company developed, moving into the super prime residential and five-star hotel market before a management buy-out in 2016, lead by Maven Capital Partners, including Basil’s youngest son John Richardson.
Rodney Richardson said there are not many companies in its sector that have been in existence for such a long time and with such a wide range of experience.
“We have always delivered to a very high quality, with a real customer focus and I think that has been vital to our success and longevity,” he said.
The company is heading into its 125th year with its largest order book, totalling an impressive £115 million, which will lead to record annual revenues of £60 million this year and £70 million next year.
Focussing on the future, the company is expanding its award-winning apprenticeship programme to support further growth within the business.
Their evidenced customer centric approach to the joinery and interior-fit out space has seen the company undertake some of the most iconic projects across London such as the Savoy Hotel, Battersea Power Station, the Houses of Parliament, One Hyde Park Penthouses and The Corinthia Hotel.
EE Smith will, additionally, continue the 40-year relationship they have with the Edwardian hotel group, part of which includes the recent fit out of The Londoner Hotel in Leicester Square which is the largest in the company’s history and included a full fit out of 355 bedrooms and bathrooms and all the public areas.
Neil Bottrill, Managing Director at EE Smith Contracts, said that the 125-year milestone was an incredible achievement and was a testament to the hard work and skill base throughout the company and the loyalty of the staff who give the business, despite its size, a real family feel.
“Our current portfolio of projects is amongst the best in the UK fit-out and joinery markets and we have every reason to believe that further exciting times are ahead for the business,” he said.
“We are growing year-on-year and we currently have 40 apprentices, doubling last year’s apprentice joiner workforce. We hope they will rise through the ranks and be an asset to the company as we teach them the skills we have always relied on for EE Smith Contracts to prosper.
“Despite our evolution over the years our core values established by Edward Elijah Smith in 1897 are the same, as we strive to deliver the highest quality product and service whilst operating as a close-knit community, with our incredible people at the forefront of our success.
“We will continue using the latest cutting-edge technology and seamlessly merging this with our unparalleled craftsmanship to continue setting the standard in our industry. Here’s to the next 125 years!”