Bradford-based box manufacturer ASC Cartons received a £2.1million investment from Frontier Development Capital (FDC) in 2022 to part fund a management buy-in (MBI) of the firm. The MBI will see GIL Investments and Chairman of Sandland Packaging Limited – Robin Welch, take the helm of the bespoke box manufacturer via a Newco.
ASC Cartons was established over 40 years ago and specialises in the creation of high-quality corrugated boxes for a wide range of applications across the UK. The firm operates from a 50,000sqft site and produces bespoke boxes to meet the exact sizing requirements of customers’ needs to reduce costs and waste. Reduced waste and the fact that over 90% of cardboard used in the UK is recycled means that cardboard offers significant environmental benefits over other packaging solutions available. Customers include both large corporate accounts and smaller consumer accounts that ASC is able to service through its website (www.ascdirect.co.uk) that is fully integrated with its modern production facilities.
The impact of the Covid pandemic has seen a material shift in shopping habits, with the proportion of sales occurring on line estimated to have increased from 30% pre-pandemic to 39%. The shift to on-line shopping has resulted in increased demand for cardboard packaging. The shift in buying habits is anticipated to be maintained and ASC Cartons is well placed to benefit from this.
Robin Welch, Chairman, commented:
“This MBI starts an exciting new chapter for ASC Cartons and we’re thrilled to be getting involved at such a pivotal time for the business. We are planning to continue developing the business alongside the current management team and hone in on the growing appeal of cardboard as a sustainable packaging option.”
“The debt funding provided by Frontier Development Capital helped us to realise our aims and coordinate a smooth deal. We look forward to bringing our combined experience together and help continue to grow and seize the opportunities ahead.”
FDC supports mid-market SME businesses across the country with debt funding between £1million and £10million.
Leszek Litwinowicz, CEO of GIL Investments, commented:
“We are delighted to be involved with ASC Cartons and see significant growth potential of the online business.”
He went on to say “This is the fourth acquisition that GIL or one of its portfolio businesses has completed in the past 12 months and despite gloomy economic predictions, GIL is still very much interested in making further acquisitions that have the right profile.”