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Investment in PP Control puts it on track to hit £40m

03 July, 2018

PP Control & Automation, the UK company that specialises in manufacturing outsourcing, has received a “significant” investment from the Canadian corporate investor, Ardenton Capital Corporation, which now owns a majority stake in the business. Under the deal, aimed at boosting PP’s business to £40m within five years, managing director Tony Hague has become a significant shareholder and will become CEO, while founder David Fox will continue in the role of chairman.

PP, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, currently employs more than 230 people at its site in the West Midlands. The new funding comes shortly after the company announced a string of new contracts that will take its turnover for the coming year to £24m, including an order for fish processing plant from Iceland and new projects for customers in digital printing and the scientific industries.

“We recognised over 12 months ago that if we were to realise our aspirations of truly growing PP in the way we believed possible, we would need a new business partner to work with,” explains Hague, who has been with the company since 2001. “Sales have increased nearly 30% in the last two years, but to take us to £40m and beyond we needed to partner with a long-term investor to really accelerate the growth.

“There were many organisations keen to invest in PP,” Hague continues. “However, we knew from the very first meeting with Ardenton Capital that its differentiated approach to sustained investment, with no intention to divest, perfectly aligned itself to the way we do business and will ensure we deliver on our ambitious expansion plans.

“The terms we have agreed provide stability for our customers and security for our employees, whilst also giving us a fantastic platform to invest in the future and in taking our manufacturing capabilities to even more global customers.”

Unlike traditional private equity funds, Ardenton – which opened a UK office in Manchester in 2016 – invests with no intention to divest. It targets majority investments in businesses alongside incumbent management teams, who it seeks to support in delivering long-term sustainable growth.

Partners (from left): PP Control & Automation's founder and chairman, David Fox; CEO, Tony Hague; and Ardenton UK director, Iain Marlow

“PP Control & Automation is a great example of a world class UK manufacturer exporting its services and products all over the globe,” says Ardenton UK director, Iain Marlow. “We are exceptionally proud to have the opportunity to partner with Tony Hague and his management team to help take the business into its next phase of growth and ensure the business continues to be a leading light of West Midlands industry.”

PP Control & Automation supplies electrical control systems and sub-contract manufacturing to customers in the machine tool, packaging, printing, medical, pharmaceutical, scientific and food processing sectors.

“We are seeking strong growth both in the UK and further afield and the style of strategic outsourcing solutions we offer seems to be very much in demand,” says Hague. “There is a clear focus from our customers to reduce both their manufacturing and sales lead times, as well as improving total production costs – we have a proven track record in working with many of the world’s leading machinery builders and doing just that!”

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