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£4m management buy-out at Reabrook

Senior managers at speciality chemical products firm Reabrook have signed a £4m deal to purchase the company from parent group Yule Catto.

The managers stepped in as Yule Catto was considering selling the business to an external buyer. “We know the business well,” says Shaun Bowden, managing director at Reabrook. “We want to protect the jobs and gain full control of a business that we believe has enormous potential for growth.”

So far this year, more than £100,000 has been invested in new equipment, which will be used to manufacture a range of chemical products for the automotive industry, including engine degreasers and car valeting products.

The new owners plan to spend a further £100,000 this year on production, health and safety, and efficiency improvements.

The three new owners, Bowden, operations director Tony Brealey and finance director Malcolm Watkins, have been at Reabrook for a combined total of 50 years. Together with 175 full-time staff and 25 temporary staff, Bowden says their focus remains on “being a safe and responsible business offering customers an excellent service”.

The company turns over £16m, of which £2.5m derives from exports. It hopes to increase sales by 5% by the end of 2006. Looking to the long-term, a representative told AM: “We have a plan in place through sales of new products, and expanding sales of existing products and customers.”

Reabrook, based in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, started in 1964 and blends and packages its own-brand products as well as selling products under the Arrow Cleaning, Enviroclean and Nielsen names.

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