Irwin Mitchell Advises YFM Equity Partners On Wakefield Acoustics MBO

Business Looks To Develop Product Range Following Deal


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

YFM Equity Partners, one of the UK’s most active investors in small businesses is providing funding to support the management buyout and future growth plans of Wakefield Acoustics, a specialist industrial acoustic engineering business, in a £4m deal.
The MBO is being led by Lee Nicholson who, with over 12 years’ experience in the business, will become Managing Director. Chris Brown, current chairman of Thermal Energy Ventures with almost 25 years’ experience in the engineering sector, will join as non-executive Chairman.
Lee Nicholson, Managing Director of Wakefield Acoustics said: “We have ambitious plans for the business which include developing and broadening the product range, consolidating our two current manufacturing facilities into a new facility in 2015 and delivering significant sales growth. Additional senior sales and engineering resource was recruited in 2014 to support these growth plans”.
Wakefield Acoustics, based in Cleckheaton, Bradford, designs, manufactures and installs a range of bespoke industrial and environmental noise control solutions. The business, founded in 1980, was acquired by Jane Dawson in 2005 and has recorded consistent growth over recent years establishing a strong market position with leading blue chip engineering companies supplying globally into sectors such as power, oil and gas, water waste and general manufacturing. Jane Dawson will remain with the business. The other members of the MBO team are Paul Hebden, Finance Director, Kevin Dawson, Operations Director and Rob Lomax, Sales Director.
The UK acoustics market is estimated at £300m in the UK growing at 13% pa. The main drivers for this growth are the increasing noise control and environmental regulations worldwide along with the recent upturn in infrastructure investment which has also driven market demand as all new projects must meet increasingly stringent noise control requirements.
Lee Nicholson, Managing Director of Wakefield Acoustics added “Given the strong market position we have established over 30 years this is an exciting next step for the business which will enable us to remain at the forefront of industrial noise control technology, supporting our clients in addressing noise control legislation worldwide. We are looking forward to working closely with YFM Equity Partners and benefitting from their experience in helping to accelerate the further growth of our business”.

Ian Waterfield, Investment Director at YFM Equity Partners in Yorkshire said: “We are backing a strong business in Wakefield Acoustics. 2015 will be a busy year for the team with a growing pipeline of business and consolidation of their manufacturing facilities into a new site. Management have ambitious growth plans and excellent experience, and I am pleased that we are retaining the experience and support of Jane Dawson”.

Paul Johnson and Sandip Khroud from Irwin Mitchell provided legal advice to YFM Equity Partners.

Paul Johnson, Corporate Partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, said: