Foresight backs MBO at Industrial services firm with support from Sintons

A North East-based specialist engineering company has undergone an MBO, with the support of a £4.25m investment from Foresight Group.

RS Industrials (North East) was established in 2001 by Mike Riley and Neil Sanderson and specialises in compliance-led servicing, repairs and maintenance of hoists and gantry cranes.

The business operates two sites in Billingham and Gateshead where it supplies brands in workwear, PPE, hand tools, power tools, janitorial products and height safety equipment.

The transaction represents the 20th new investment completed by the private equity firm in 2023, alongside a significant number of follow-on investments across its venture capital, growth and buyout and private credit strategies.

Working in partnership with Foresight, a management team, including Mike Cawley as chief executive, and Phil Heathcock and chief financial offices, has now been recruited to enable Riley and Sanderson to step back from day-to-day operations.

The firm will work to support the existing growth plan.

Mark Cawley, chief executive of RSI, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Foresight team to help secure the long-term future of the business. Foresight’s expertise in supporting SMEs will be pivotal in taking RSI to its next phase of growth. This significant investment will allow RSI to continue to create highly valuable skilled jobs in the area while ensuring our customers continue to receive an unrivalled service.”

Tavia Sparks, senior investment manager at Foresight, added: “We are delighted to be working with the team at RSI. We are excited by the growth we’ve seen and we believe RSI represents a compelling opportunity. In the sector that RSI operates, safety is of paramount importance and RSI’s reputation for quality, which it has developed over its 20-year history, means it has an enviable portfolio of long-term, repeat customers. As such, the potential for further growth is significant.

“This is an investment made possible by our presence on the ground in the North East and it represents what we’re trying to achieve with our fund dedicated to the North East and Yorkshire – that is supporting promising SMEs with significant growth potential to deliver both positive economic and societal returns.”

Partner and Head of Corporate Adrian Dye and Solicitor Daniel Earle provided the legal advice from Sintons.

This article was published in Insider Media on Monday 8th January 2024.

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