MBO marks new beginning for building manufacturer

L/R: Jessica Shipman, from Natwest, new owners Elissa Thomas and Ellis John and director at Broomfield & Alexander, Seamus Gates

MBO marks new beginning for building manufacturer

A Cardiff-based company that specialises in the construction, hire and sale of modular buildings, has been acquired as part of a management buy-out.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, has seen the business transfer into the ownership of brother-and-sister partnership Elissa Thomas and Ellis John.

Elissa worked for Clarks for a number of years, supporting managing director Ian Clark in operating the business, while Ellis has helped to build up a number of successful businesses in recent years for a large PLC company operating in the construction sector.

Clarks will continue to focus on this sector as part of its growth plan under the new ownership, supplying modular buildings for use as site offices and to provide other facilities on large construction sites.

The buildings can be assembled as two or three-tier connected units that include all of the services and facilities of a modern office.

Former managing director Ian Clark will retain a 20% shareholding and remain on the board, working closely with the new owners to support the business in its growth plans going forward.

Ellis John said: “We have great plans to continue, grow and develop the business going forward and I am confident that my knowledge and contacts in the construction sector will open new doors for the company.”

The new owners have been supported throughout the acquisition by professional advisors Broomfield & Alexander and Lawyers Thomas Simon, with funding provided by NatWest.

Speaking on conclusion of the buyout, Seamus Gates from Broomfield & Alexander said:

“This is a great day, not only for Elissa and Ellis but also for all of the employees at Clarks.

“This is already a substantial business in the capital but also one with potential to grow and develop into the future.  It has been a pleasure to work with the team in securing this successful buyout”. 

Zoe Mott, from funding partner NatWest, said; “NatWest is pleased to support a long-standing customer to deliver a succession plan for this business.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with the new management team to understand their strategy and deliver a suitable funding package.

“I’m extremely proud that NatWest Cardiff has delivered yet another management buyout in the south Wales market.”

Clarks Modular Buildings Limited employs 23 staff and has been in operation since 1951 as a successful family business.

The company started as suppliers of “jackleg” cabins to the construction industry.

Its portable units were manufactured with external steel legs which enabled them to be lifted and stacked, while single units could be adjusted for temporary positioning on uneven ground.

In the late 90s, the firm moved into the hire and sales of modular buildings and built a strong base of customers across South Wales and further afield, including several major utility companies and well-known construction businesses.