Halifax firm secures £6.4m investment from BGF

Halifax firm secures £6.4m investment from BGF

Northern Escalator Installations has secured a £6.4m investment from BGF to support its expansion in the UK and Europe.

The Halifax-headquartered specialist engineering firm was founded by MD Kevin Johnson in 1999 to install, refurbish, and repair escalators.

With a team of 85 precision engineers and technical staff, recent projects have included escalator installations at Anfield Football Stadium in Liverpool and Paddington Station.

The group generated revenues of in excess of £12m in 2017.

Northern Escalators has been winning a growing number of contracts in mainland Europe, and established a second base there earlier in 2017.

The group now has offices in both Germany and Sweden to service a large and growing customer base.

Northern Escalators will use BGF’s funding to expand its services which, in addition to installation and maintenance, include storage, design, build-up, transportation and modernisation.

The business works closely with major escalator and lift manufacturers including Kone, Schindler, Otis and ThyssenKrupp, and is well placed to capitalise on the increase in commercial and transport infrastructure projects.

As part of the investment, Stuart Black joins the company as non-executive Chair following an introduction by BGF.

Stuart is also Chair of BGF-backed TCL, an estate management business, and has been supporting its expansion across the UK.

Gareth Judson also joins the board as operations director.

Kevin Johnson, Northern Escalator said: “We have attracted and retained a first-class team of engineers, which alongside our focus on quality, has helped us build a solid reputation and take on very technical projects.

“BGF’s long-term minority investment will allow us to press forward with our growth plans while retaining control of the business.

“We look forward to working with the BGF team, and welcoming Stuart Black to the board.”

In recent months, BGF has backed Yorkshire-based, Filmore & Union, a restaurant and deli chain and provided further investment to Leeds-headquartered, Nationwide Window Cleaning, which has experienced 100% sales growth since BGF’s investment in 2014.

Chris Boyes, BGF said: “Kevin and his team have built a business of significant scale in a niche but growing area.

“Their expertise has enabled the business to become the UK’s leading provider of escalator services, with significant scope for further growth, both in the UK and Europe.

“We are delighted to be supporting the company as they further expand their operations.”

The investment was led for BGF by Chris Boyes, Rob Johnson and Richard Taylor.

BGF is the UK’s most active provider of growth capital to small and mid-sized businesses.

The companies it backs are privately-owned or listed on AIM, and typically have revenues of between £5m and £100m.

BGF makes initial investments of between £2m-£10m and can provide additional funding to support further growth.