Private Equity


6 minutes


Foresight invests £2.35 million to support Management Buy-in of RF Brown

  • RF Brown provides shipping container hire, container sales and self-storage services across Scotland and Northern England
  • Investment will help the business scale by developing an outbound sales effort, enhancing marketing and launching new products

Click here to download the announcement as a PDF

Edinburgh 08 March 2021: Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”), an award-winning listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager, has made a £2.35 million investment into RF Brown Limited (“RF Brown” or “the Company”), a  shipping container hire,  container sales and self-storage business.

RF Brown was founded in 1987 and is based on the outskirts of Glasgow. The Company typically acquires and repurposes used shipping containers that are then hired out long term or sold to commercial customers. The Company has developed a strong, profitable operating model and robust customer base, presenting a clear opportunity for a strong management buy-in (“MBI”) team to take the business through its next phase of growth. With demand for short term flexible storage solutions increasing due to COVID-19 and Brexit challenges, the Company is well-positioned to increase its market share and capitalise on the opportunity.

Foresight’s investment supports the MBI of the business led by Angus Barraclough, incoming Managing Director, who has spent 20 years working in the equipment and plant hire sector. Barraclough was previously part of the team that spun-out Brandon Hire Group from Wolseley Plc and was attracted by the growth potential of the business.

Barraclough will be supported by Ken Lewandowski who joins as Non-Executive Chairman. Lewandowski was previously a Non-Executive Director at Jarvie Plant Hire and grew the business from a small Scottish firm to a multi-site operation trading across the UK. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the sector and will be instrumental in achieving the ambitious growth targets. An experienced financial controller has also been recruited and the incoming senior management will be ably supported by the existing team.

Foresight is committed to working towards a smarter future through supporting SMEs with an ability to have a sustainable social or environmental impact. RF Brown contributes to the circular economy by repurposing shipping containers, typically used for a single trip, expanding their lifespan to at least 25 years.

Commenting on the investment, Angus Barraclough, incoming Managing Director of RF Brown, said: “I am delighted to have partnered with Foresight to acquire RF Brown. This is a great family run Company that has been highly successful in developing a profitable, sustainable business supplying customers from retail, infrastructure, building services and construction sectors. I look forward to working with the existing team to continue to successfully grow the business in the future.”

Reflecting on the sale, Bobby and Janette Brown, the vendors, said: “The business has been our life’s work for the last thirty years and it was important we left the business in good hands. We were impressed with Barraclough’s professional approach, experience and plans to grow the business. We are looking forward to working with him through the transition phase and wish him all the best for the future”.

Graeme Mckinstry, Investment Manager, at Foresight, added: “We are delighted to support Angus and the wider team at RF Brown as they target a significant market opportunity. We have been impressed by the strong track record of profitable growth demonstrated by the Company and look forward to supporting the Company as it seeks to increase market share substantially.”

Advisers to the Vendor:

Legal Advice:                    Shepherd & Wedderburn

Financial advisers:           Sharles

Advisers to Foresight:

Financial DD:                    Consilium

Legal DD:                          Anderson Strathern

Management DD :           Confidas

Cyber DD:                         KryptoKloud

Recruitment:                    FWB Park Brown, Amplifi Talent, Brightbridge Recruitment

Insurance:                        Marsh

Advisers to Incoming Management:

Legal Advice:                    Burness Paull


For more information contact:

Chris Barry, Influential: / +44 (0)7733 103 693


Notes to Editors

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):

Foresight is an award-winning listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 35 years.

Foresight has £6.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Relief (BR) and Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs).

Foresight’s Private Equity Team, comprising over 30 investment professionals, manages c.£700 million in a portfolio of more than 100 companies and pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.

Foresight was a commended finalist in the Best Venture Capital Trust Provider category at the 2020 Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts Awards. Foresight was named ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards last year, ‘Generalist VCT of the Year’ at the Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards 2018/19 and was a finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year.

Foresight’s largest office is in London with regional UK offices in Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Cambridge and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid, and Luxembourg.

About the Foresight Scottish Growth Fund:

The £20 million Foresight Scottish Growth Fund was established in 2019 under the Scottish Growth Scheme. It contributes up to £2 million of equity to investment rounds of up to £10 million in growing Scottish SMEs. Investing over the next five years, the Fund aims to support economic growth and job creation in Scotland, also attracting additional private sector investment by backing exciting growth companies across a range of sectors.

The Foresight Scottish Growth Fund (Scottish Growth Scheme – Foresight Group Equity Finance LP) is financed by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund from the 2014-­20 European Structural Funds Programme in Scotland. It is part of the Scottish Growth Scheme, a £500 million package of financial support for Scottish businesses backed by the Scottish Government, which aims to help businesses grow.

This is the ninth investment made by the Fund, and the fourth since the onset of COVID-19. The Scheme continues to prove its value by supporting local businesses during the pandemic, both financially through new investments, as well as from an advisory perspective by guiding management teams through the new economic landscape.

RF Brown

RF Brown offers a wide range of storage container solutions to customers across Scotland. This includes storage containers for sales and hire, covering domestic use, commercial and public storage with a wide variety of hi-cube, full side access, pallet wide and open top containers. In addition to a large selection of containers, RF Brown provide container accessories, including high security locks, racking and moisture traps.

Be part of our journey

Foresight Group Holdings; Investing for a smarter future. Complementary infrastructure and private equity strategies underpinned by a focus on sustainability and ESG. Find out how you can be part of the journey.