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MBO for international rubber company

AN INTERNATIONAL rubber company is set for an exciting new chapter after being bought out by its management team in a deal advised on by Ward Hadaway.

Trafford Rubber Products, which operates from three sites in Trafford Park, is looking to build on Greater Manchester’s innovation and manufacturing traditions and continue the company’s growth following the MBO, which was advised on by lawyers at Ward Hadaway in Manchester.

A five-strong management team with 60 years’ combined experience led the buy-out, which secures the jobs of Trafford Rubber Products’ 30-strong workforce and which the new owners hope will lay the foundations for further expansion.

Established in 1986, Trafford Rubber Products is a leading rubber compounder whose products are used in a diverse range of applications including roller coverings for paper, steel mills, tank lining for road tankers, hoses for pneumatic equipment, aircraft chocks and roof linings.

Most of the company’s products are developed, manufactured and tested at its own on-site laboratory and it has customers in 20 different countries including Finland, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, South Africa, Poland, Sweden and Denmark.

Trafford Rubber Products Commercial Director, Chris Brindle, who spearheaded the MBO, said: “As a management team we were delighted to put forward a firm offer for the business.

“Trafford Rubber Products is a strong and expanding company employing skilled labour in its manufacturing facility in Trafford Park.

“The UK economy needs businesses like Trafford Rubber to thrive, to export and to provide not only continuation of employment for existing employees but opportunities for apprentices who wish to develop their skills in polymer science, marketing and other areas.”

The new owners – Mr Brindle, Managing Director Les Cotton, Operations Director Paul Keeley, Technical Director Kevin Smith and Sales Director Chris Mathews – plan to further grow the business via a combination of complete technical support, class-leading products and excellent customer service.

They aim to be able to offer apprenticeships to polymer science graduates and potentially marketing graduates.

Chris Brindle said: “There is a great tradition of scientific innovation in Manchester and a great tradition of manufacturing – for example, many of our machines were built locally.

“We feel that we have taken on the responsibility to do our bit to carry on these traditions for future generations.”

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson, Corporate Partner and Rachael Clarkson, Corporate solicitor, in the Manchester office of law firm Ward Hadaway, led the legal team advising Trafford Rubber Products’ management team on the MBO.

Ward Hadaway’s Head of Banking and Finance Julie Harrison advised the management team in connection with the acquisition funding package.

Paul said: “We are delighted to have assisted Les, Chris and the team on the successful management buy-out at Trafford Rubber Products.

“It is clear that they have a real vision and passion for the company which I am sure will stand them in very good stead as they look to further expand the business.”

Chris Brindle said: “Paul and the team at Ward Hadaway made the process seem almost effortless.

“The process could have been very daunting but I felt that Paul and his team did a fantastic job and took away the stress and hassle of the legal side of things, which allowed us to focus on the financial side of the deal.

“The handover days were smooth and efficient and I felt really supported, especially at the final stage of the takeover and after 16 weeks of managing the MBO process that was exactly what I needed.”

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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