L -R: Ean Parsons of Parsons Containers, Angus Allan of Clive Owen, Cllr Simon Henig and Sarah Slaven of Durham County Council, Vivienne Parsons of Parsons Containers and Michael Vassallo of Maven
Maven Capital Partners, one of the UK’s private equity houses, through its management of the Finance Durham and North East Development Capital Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, has provided £825,000 of funding to independent shipping container supplier, Parsons Containers Limited.
The funds have invested £500,000 and £325,000 respectively, which will support the company’s growth plans, enhancing its digital presence online and help the business to open four new sites for its self-storage brand, ‘U Hold the Key’, in the next 12 months.
Under the “Parsons Containers” and “ContainerContainer” brands, the company supplies shipping containers to industries for shipping and freight and for applications including accommodation and storage. These include the self-storage industry, construction, off-shore, local government, schools and catering.
Parsons’ U Hold the Key brand supplies container self-storage services for domestic and commercial use to small businesses and customers requiring flexible storage. With nine UK sites using over 1000 stores, U Hold the Key has innovated to ensure the systems of the business are local, inexpensive, easy to use and secure.
The deal is the first joint investment between two of the north east regional funds managed by Maven. The Finance Durham Fund was established by Durham County Council and overseen by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham; The North East Development Capital Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
Parsons was established in 2000 in Sedgefield, County Durham by Ean Parsons, who sought to capitalise on his extensive experience in the container business in supplying containers for shipping, freight, storage and accommodation.
Parsons was advised by Angus Allan of Clive Owen, an independent, award-winning regional accountancy firm providing value-added services to corporate, public sector and private clients.
Ean Parsons, managing director of Parson Containers, said: “I am delighted with the investment by Maven, especially as it involves both the Finance Durham Fund and North East Development Fund. We are proud to be a North East business, rooted in County Durham and with a loyal and skilled local workforce. With that platform, we have established a growing national customer base and a strong demand for our products and services. I am pleased that Maven is demonstrating confidence in the business with this investment. It will enable us to take advantage of existing opportunities and I am sure that we will repay this faith by strengthening our business in Durham and the North East.”
Michael Vassallo, investment director at Maven, said, “Parsons is an established and reputable business with a growing share of the UK shipping container market. Ean is an ambitious and dedicated director who has grown the business substantially in the last 18 years and we are delighted to provide funding at this stage in the company’s development.
“The joint investment between the two funds Maven manages in the region, the Finance Durham Fund and the North East Development Capital Fund, is a fantastic example of investors in the North East working together to provide a local business with a substantial funding package to enable it to grow.”
Sarah Slaven, business development director, said: “‘The Finance Durham Fund was established to support businesses to achieve their ambitions. To see a business with its origins in County Durham receive funding to enable it to add to its sites, to develop their digital presence and to grow is exciting. I hope this news will encourage other businesses in Durham to consider applying for funding to enable them to reach their potential.”
Cllr Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, said: “Parsons started out in County Durham almost 20 years ago and we're really proud that our Finance Durham Fund can support them today. We wish them the best of luck with their future business ventures as they continue to grow and develop across the North East and the UK.”
Angus Allan, partner at Clive Owen, said, “I have known Ean for over 25 years and his determination and skill to build and develop a successful business has been a pleasure to watch over the years. This investment will allow a further step change in the business.”
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