Foresight invests £2.35 million to support Management Buy-in of RF Brown

Angus Barraclough, RF Brown

RF Brown provides shipping container hire, container sales and self-storage services across Scotland and Northern England

Investment will help the business scale by developing an outbound sales effort, enhancing marketing and launching new products

FORESIGHT Group LLP, an award-winning listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager, has made a £2.35 million investment into RF Brown Limited, a shipping container hire, container sales, and self-storage business.

RF Brown was founded in 1987 and is based on the outskirts of Glasgow. The Company typically acquires and repurposes used shipping containers that are then hired out long term or sold to commercial customers. The Company has developed a strong, profitable operating model and robust customer base, presenting a clear opportunity for a strong management buy-in (“MBI”) team to take the business through its next phase of growth. With demand for short term flexible storage solutions increasing due to COVID-19 and Brexit challenges, the Company is well positioned to increase its market share and capitalise on the opportunity.

Foresight’s investment supports the MBI of the business led by Angus Barraclough, incoming Managing Director, who has spent 20 years working in the equipment and plant hire sector. Barraclough was previously part of the team that spun-out Brandon Hire Group from Wolseley Plc and was attracted by the growth potential of the business.

Barraclough will be supported by Ken Lewandowski who joins as Non-Executive Chairman. Lewandowski was previously a Non-Executive Director at Jarvie Plant Hire and grew the business from a small Scottish firm to a multi-site operation trading across the UK. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the sector and will be instrumental in achieving the ambitious growth targets. An experienced financial controller has also been recruited and the incoming senior management will be ably supported by the existing team.

Foresight is committed to working towards a smarter future through supporting SMEs with an ability to have a sustainable social or environmental impact. RF Brown contributes to the circular economy by repurposing shipping containers, typically used for a single trip, expanding their lifespan to at least 25 years.

Commenting on the investment, Angus Barraclough, incoming Managing Director of RF Brown, said: “I am delighted to have partnered with Foresight to acquire RF Brown. This is a great family-run company that has been highly successful in developing a profitable, sustainable business supplying customers from retail, infrastructure, building services, and construction sectors. I look forward to working with the existing team to continue to successfully grow the business in the future.”

Reflecting on the sale, Bobby and Janette Brown, the vendors, said: “The business has been our life’s work for the last thirty years and it was important we left the business in good hands. We were impressed with Barraclough’s professional approach, experience, and plans to grow the business. We are looking forward to working with him through the transition phase and wish him all the best for the future.”

Graeme Mckinstry, Investment Manager, at Foresight, added: “We are delighted to support Angus and the wider team at RF Brown as they target a significant market opportunity. We have been impressed by the strong track record of profitable growth demonstrated by the Company and look forward to supporting the Company as it seeks to increase market share substantially.”

Advisers to the Vendor:

Legal Advice: Shepherd & Wedderburn

Financial advisers: Sharles

Advisers to Foresight:

Financial DD: Consilium

Legal DD: Anderson Strathern

Management DD : Confidas

Cyber DD: KryptoKloud

Recruitment: FWB Park Brown, Amplifi Talent, Brightbridge Recruitment

Insurance: Marsh

Advisers to Incoming Management:

Legal Advice: Burness Paull

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