Management buyout completed at CMS Window Systems

CMS Window Systems has been acquired by its managers for an undisclosed sum following a period of growth for the Cumbernauld business.

Supported by debt funding from Clydesdale Bank led by its Corporate and Structured Finance team, and additional equity from the Scottish Investment Bank, the transaction includes the largest equity cheque written by private equity adviser Maven Capital Partners.

Established in 2006, CMS specialises in designing, manufacturing and installing energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly products. It operates from its 15-acre headquarters in Cumbernauld with an additional door manufacturing facility in Fife. 

The business supports customers across the commercial construction and social housing sectors and provides services from design and manufacture, through to installation and aftercare, on some of the UK’s largest building projects.

Exiting investors include mid-market private equity firm LDC which backed the existing management team with a minority investment to support the business’ expansion in May 2016.

Since then, CMS has opened an 8,500 sq ft PVCu door manufacturing and recycling plant in Kirkaldy, increased the production capacity of its Cumbernauld headquarters, strengthened its management team with the appointment of David Ritchie as CEO and launched a new over-the-counter trade sales service, which offers its energy-efficient products to sole traders and SME contractors.

CMS’s extensive programme of capital investment and service diversification has coincided with a string of contract wins for the business. In 2017, it was appointed to North Lanarkshire Council and East Dunbartonshire Council’s window and door replacement frameworks.

In addition to securing deals with public sector clients, CMS has also supported on several high-profile commercial construction projects. In 2019 alone, it provided aluminium glazing packages for CALA Homes’ redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Donaldson Estate and Balfour Beatty’s Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park.

Today, the business employs almost 300 people, and is on track to record revenues of £40 million for the year ending March 2019, up 25 per cent during LDC’s tenure.

Maven has taken a majority equity investment in the company which will enable CMS to further pursue its social housing strategy, targeting the larger addressable market in England, as well as capitalising on the increased demand for energy-efficient windows and doors in new-build housing.

David Ritchie, CEO of CMS Window Systems, said: “Partnering with Maven marks the beginning of an exciting new era for CMS and its employees, and will enable, us to create new jobs as we grow. With our established management team continuing to lead the business, it is very much ‘business as usual’ so customers, supply chain partners and other stakeholders will experience no changes in working with us.

“We will be announcing more detail about our immediate plans soon, which will support our strategy to develop our share of the market for windows and doors in the new build housing, commercial, social housing and trade sectors. We have an excellent team in place to drive the business forward in partnership with Maven, building on the strengths that our customers value and providing high performance window, door and curtain walling solutions to many more new customers too.”

He added: “Our partnership with LDC gave us the strategic guidance and financial firepower we needed to deliver our ambitious growth strategy. Energy-efficiency and the use of environmentally friendly construction practices have become an essential consideration for our sector. With LDC’s support, we’ve been able to capitalise on our business’s green credentials - dramatically increasing our production capacity and expanding the scope of our offering to take advantage of increased demand for our specialist products and services.”

Andrew Craig, partner at Maven, said: “CMS is one of the leading manufacturers and installers for window and door solutions in the UK, and we are delighted to add this ambitious business to our growing portfolio. The transaction demonstrates our aim to support management buyouts in some of the most impressive and entrepreneurial businesses in the lower-mid market. CMS has experienced year on year growth and is managed by an impressive management team with significant experience of the sector. The company has also invested heavily in its two manufacturing facilities ensuring that there is sufficient spare capacity to fulfil its undoubted growth potential.”

Colin Bennett, investment director at LDC in Edinburgh, added: “Innovative, forward-thinking companies like CMS are the reason Scotland’s Central Belt is such an exciting and dynamic place to do business. Over the last three years, the business’ ambition and high-quality, modern offering has translated into strong and sustainable growth, both in Scotland, and across the rest of the UK. It’s been very rewarding to support David and the team and we wish them luck on the next step of their growth journey.”

CMS Window Systems and its shareholders were advised by BDO

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