Initial investment: 22/07/2016
Sector: Business Services
Fund: Buyout Fund III
- Supported regional expansion of the business with a new office opened in the Yorkshire region and further growth in the West Midlands market. This broader regional offering was crucial to the buyer at exit.
- Introduced a chief financial officer with private equity experience who improved management reporting and generated significant working capital and cash generation improvements.
- Introduced a new non-executive director with significant industry experience who ultimately facilitated introduction to a strategic trade buyer.
- We introduced operational consultants to undertake a supply chain review which led to a number of quality improvements across the supplier base and enhanced operational efficiencies.
- Westleigh’s EBITDA grew from circa £9m to a run rate of circa £16m at exit.
- The business was sold to Countryside Properties plc for £135m in April 2018, generating a 3x money multiple in a two-year period.
We were attracted by the company’s entrepreneurial management team, who had demonstrated their ability to grow the business into a market leader for affordable housing development across the Midlands region. Further geographical expansion was at the heart of Westleigh’s growth strategy and the company recognised that the recruitment of experienced operational teams was essential in enabling the new sites to scale quickly.
Westleigh’s experience of having Palatine as our investor partner has been nothing other than positive. Palatine have supported management’s ambitious expansion plans for growth. While always remaining diligent, Palatine have allowed management to run the business and progress matters without clunky, time-consuming approval processes that would have removed the business’s ability to be reactive to opportunities which give it the edge over its competitors. I would like to thank Palatine for their support on behalf of the board and the business.