Abacus, the East Midlands based international lighting group, has been acquired out of administration by a group of industrialists and financiers, saving 150 jobs.
The business is being recapitalised with £5 million of investment and working capital facilities from a combination of funds from Intrinsic Equity, the investment vehicle for the partners of Orbis Partners LLP, trade investment from Diesel Marine International Ltd and asset based facilities from Centric Commercial Finance.
For over 55 years Abacus has earned its reputation for providing innovative, creative and durable columns, masts and lighting systems across a wide variety of markets. Under the new ownership, Abacus will build on the core strengths of the business with an increased customer focus and the resources to ensure that the innovation and quality which is known for continues to thrive.
The new owners bring additional financial and management expertise and experience and will take directorship roles in the business. The group is headquartered in Sutton in Ashfield and in 2012 the turnover was £32 million 50% of which went into overseas markets.
James Grenfell, senior partner at Orbis Partners LLP commented ”Abacus is a fantastic business that has suffered largely as a result of an underfunded pension liability that has drained its resources. The core business has always been profitable and provides a great platform for us to focus on Abacus’s strengths of product innovation and quality lighting solutions.”
Dominic Wong, partner at Deloitte, commented on the sale: “We have been engaged to sell the business since December 2012. Abacus is a leading name in lighting and attracted a huge amount of interest, but ultimately this transaction provides the best outcome for creditors including the c150 UK employees who transferred to the new business.”
Tim Hawkins, Commercial Director at Centric Commercial Finance commented: “We support companies in transformational, high-pressure, time-critical deals that frequently make a genuine difference to people’s lives. Abacus is a high profile business in the lighting sector and the quantum of funding that has been provided has proved pivotal in saving 150 jobs.”