Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”), a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager, has invested £4.0 million into M.R Machine Knives Limited (“MRMK” or “the Company”), providing equity release and growth capital to the business. The investment and Foresight’s involvement will support founder and Managing Director Michael Bailey in the continuing growth of the business, leveraging the outstanding reputation that MRMK has built up since its inception.
MRMK is a specialist manufacturer of machine knives based in Sheffield, a city world-renowned for its stainless steel production and industrial heritage. The Company supplies a diverse range of knives for the food production and packaging industries. The Company is known for its quality products and exceptional customer service, serving customers globally in 50 separate countries, with some 80% of sales exported worldwide.
Machine knives are critical components to the efficient running of machinery used throughout the food manufacturing supply chain. Quality and reliability are essential to the efficient running of manufacturing facilities in such high-volume environments and MRMK is now highly regarded in its chosen sectors, evidenced by the sustained growth over recent years.
Foresight’s investment will drive further growth across the business, with plans to diversify the customer base by targeting new sectors and geographies as well as investing in further in-house manufacturing capabilities to expand the product range. As part of the transaction Foresight have introduced Dave Roberts as Chairman. Dave was a founder and CEO across a number of food packaging manufacturers, so has strong knowledge of the Company’s products and market dynamics.
Foresight has significant experience supporting SME manufacturing businesses with other current investments including Envair Technology (manufacturer of air containment solutions) and Swype (specialist plastic card manufacturer).
Commenting on the investment, Michael Bailey, Managing Director of M.R Machine Knives, said: “The Company has grown year-on-year since it was formed 12 years ago, but in order to take it to the next level we needed to bring on board a new partner to help the business realise its full potential. The Hawsons Corporate Finance team were given the remit to identify an investor that would not only offer financial backing but also help the Company enter new markets whilst continuing to achieve operational excellence. Foresight Group was identified as the perfect partner to help drive the Company’s growth ambitions and deliver these aims. I look forward to the future and I am confident that the business will flourish with Foresight’s support and backing.”
Rob Jones, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight, added: “Michael, supported by the wider team at MRMK, has built a very strong business from the ground up to become one of the most reputable companies within its sector. The Company’s reputation for quality and service delivery really stood out throughout the process and the sustained growth over recent years has been impressive. The sector has demonstrated robust trading during the pandemic and the Company is well positioned to capitalise on positive market dynamics by further expanding its manufacturing capabilities, supported by Foresight’s investment.”
Foresight was supported by BHP and WhiteCap on financial and commercial due diligence and a legal team from Freeths led by Lisa Wallis. MRMK were advised by Hawsons, led by Pete Wilmer and Jack Ware with CMS advising the vendors on legal matters.
Advisers to M.R Machine Knives:
Legal Advice: CMS
Corporate Finance: Hawsons
Advisers to Foresight:
Financial DD: BHP
Legal DD: Freeths LLP
Commercial DD: WhiteCap Consulting
Management DD: Catalysis
Insurance DD: Lockton
Cyber DD: KryptoCloud
For more information contact:
Chris Barry, Influential: Barry@thisisinfluential.com / +44 (0)7733 103 693
Notes to Editors
About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):
Foresight is a leading independent 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 over £6.5 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 over £600 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 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 is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Cambridge and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid, Luxembourg and Seoul.