MBO at St Helens glass specialist Pyroguard

Royal Holloway University, London, one of Pyroguard's projects

Manchester corporate finance house Clearwater International has advised the shareholders of Pyroguard, an independent manufacturer of fire resistant glass, on its management buyout backed by ESO Capital Partners.

Pyroguard, based in St Helens, manufactures and supplies high performance fire glass to architects, specifiers, contractors and construction professionals, enabling them to meet all their fire safety glazing requirements via a single source.

The business has expanded from its initial target markets of the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands to supply customers in France, Germany, Scandinavia and further afield.

The company has experienced significant organic growth over the past four years, and this investment from ESO will allow the management team of Pyroguard to accelerate their expansion plans.

ESO is a London-based investment firm providing hybrid private-capital solutions to European small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Clearwater International team comprised of chief executive Michael Reeves, director Michael Loudon and senior associate Zack Goddard, with support from debt advisory director Tom Barnwell.

Legal advice was provided by Pinsent Masons (Kieran Toal, Andrew Senior and Katie Porter), while the management of Pyroguard was advised by Addleshaw Goddard (Peter Wood, George Danczak and Andrew Fordham).

Neil Tilsley, chief executive of Pyroguard, said: “I am delighted that a forward-thinking and proactive investor such as ESO has seen the potential of investing in the future success of Pyroguard.

“Dunedin and NVM have been highly supportive investors and have played a significant role in making Pyroguard the successful high growth business it is today.

“Bringing in a new external institutional investor like ESO, which has supported rapid growth across a range of businesses before, will bring not only a fresh perspective, but also help us to accelerate our ambitious growth plans.

“Pyroguard has an exciting future ahead as a result of this new partnership.”

David Steel, director, ESO Capital, added: “Pyroguard is already a very successful business, with an experienced management team, a strong presence in a highly technical sector, with significant barriers to entry.

“Given our experience in supporting high-growth companies, we see considerable opportunity for ESO Capital to support the management team of Pyroguard as it looks to build its market share in this very interesting sector.

“Our investment in Pyroguard, which sits senior in the capital structure, perfectly demonstrates our strong combined credit and equity capabilities and support for ambitious growth companies.”

Michael Loudon, director, Clearwater International, said: “Pyroguard has performed exceptionally well over recent years under the guidance of its highly accomplished management team.

“The investment from ESO represents an important milestone for the business and an opportunity to continue its successful international strategy and build on its strong market position in the specialist field of fire safety glass.

“We wish Pyroguard and the team every success for the future.”

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