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Foresight invests additional £4.0m into portfolio company ONFAB to support acquisition of Envair Holdings Limited

Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) announces a further £4 million growth capital investment into portfolio company ONFAB to fund the acquisition of Lancashire based designer and manufacturer of clean air containment products, Envair Holdings Limited (“Envair” or “the Company”).

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ONFAB produces flexible clean-air enclosures and consumables, designed and manufactured in-house from sites in Cheshire and Spain. Founded in 2005 by Oliver Nulty, ONFAB received investment from the £60 million Foresight Regional Investment LP fund in September 2017 to facilitate a majority buyout of the business. Since then, with an enlarged team and renewed focus on sales, margins and new products, it has grown by over 30% per year and continues to benefit from ever stricter safety standards protecting workers across the globe.

Envair is an established and well-recognised brand in the UK specialising in rigid clean-air products, with customers primarily in the healthcare space. Its products and services include a range of rigid isolators, laboratory fume cupboards, consumables and ongoing maintenance.

In combination, the enlarged group will benefit from a highly complementary product and customer portfolio and will be the only UK provider of both rigid and flexible containment products and service, supporting customers in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and manufacturing markets.

Commenting on the investment, Chris Wardle, Investment Director, Foresight, said: ONFAB has been growing quickly since our investment, primarily driven by the significantly deeper management team put in place the past 18 months. Envair benefits from similarly high margins and quality leadership, is exposed to the second half of the fast growing £500m isolator market and has a fully-formed service and maintenance function. The much-enlarged group will represent a platform for the launch of a number of new consumable products and maintenance work across the more than 30 countries in which it operates.”

Gary Bagshaw, Managing Director, Envair, added: I have led Envair for over 10 years and watched the company grow every year. The combination of this business with ONFAB will allow us to expand our reach to a number of large markets while benefitting from ONFAB’s back office and sales infrastructure.

Throughout the investment process it had been a great experience to work with Chris, the Foresight team and the ONFAB board. Foresight has always been available to assist and open to discussing any issues that may have arisen with the integration of the two businesses. By working closely together, we have been able to conclude the deal with a minimum stress and difficulty.”

Mark Arnold, Managing Director, ONFAB, added: “Though ONFAB has thrived to date as a standalone manufacturer of flexible containment solutions, selling primarily into the pharmaceutical market, our management team recognised that combining our expertise with another organisation with a similar focus on customer service and quality could exponentially accelerate our growth. Envair’s success to date is testament to their excellent management and great range of rigid isolation products, and as a group we will be able to offer more complex, bespoke, rigid and aseptic isolator solutions to a large and growing market.

Foresight has been central to this successful acquisition, allowing the ONFAB team to continue to focus on organic growth while the deal progressed. Board Investment Director Chris Wardle led a textbook process, executing the transaction quickly and smoothly, ensuring a fair outcome for all involved.

We warmly welcome Managing Director Gary Bagshaw and his team and look forward to our shared future success.

Advisers on the deal included:

Corporate Finance: FPN Chartered Accountants

Legal: RW Blears (buy-side), Clarke Wilmott (sell-side)

Financial due diligence: Grant Thornton

Commercial due diligence: PMSI

Insurance: Vista Insurance Brokers

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