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Thu October 18 2018

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Equity investors move into Molson

1 Aug Molson Construction Equipment, which calls itself the UK’s largest distributor of capital equipment, has received a £6.3m investment from venture capitalists in return for an undisclosed chunk of equity.

Molson intends to invest the £6.3m from BGF in further expansion
Molson intends to invest the £6.3m from BGF in further expansion

Molson plans to use the money to build a new national parts centre and additional depots across.

Founded in 1996 by Jonathan Wilson and Robin Powell, Molson provides sales and aftersales services for heavy construction equipment, such as excavators, material handlers, crushers and loaders, to the construction, quarrying and waste management industries.

Molson is the largest European dealer for Korean and Japanese excavators, including Hyundai and Kobelco brands.

It currently operates from Bristol and Warrington, with satellite operations in London, Kent, Stratford Upon Avon and Doune in Scotland. The company has also established Molson Green as a distributor of waste management and recycling equipment.

For the year to 30th September 2017, Molson Group grew turnover to £124.2m, up from £88.5m the year before, citing significant growth in its Sennebogen, Kobelco and Ammann franchises. However, pre-tax profit fell from £5.2m to £4.1m, largely due to exchange rate movements.

Molson's recent takeover of Finlay Plant is expected to help turnover pass £155m this year.

BGF (Business Growth Fund) now 21 equity stakes in UK infrastructure, construction and waste management companies across the UK, including Hawk, Johnson Aggregates and RSK.

Molson was not prepared to disclose how much equity in the business it has sold to BGF. It is certainly a minority stake but big enough for BGF to have put in Bill Caplan as non-executive chairman. Bill Caplan is also chairman of crawler crane hire specialist Weldex International, which is backed by private equity firm Dunedin, and was previously an executive director of Aggreko.

Molson’s joint directors Robin Powell and Jonathan Wilson explained why they had brought in outside investors. “In recent years we have been focused on expanding our presence across the UK to provide national sales and after sales services to our customers. We believe it is critical that distributors gain scale and offer a national service to meet the demands of today’s customers. Customers are driving supply chain reductions and are focused on a national service level commitment. This investment will provide the opportunity to continue to add scale to our infrastructure and offering,” they said.

They added: “We have got to know the BGF team well and are pleased to be partnering with them. This investment will enable us to implement our plans at pace, with the support of BGF and its wider network.”

The investment in Molson was led by BGF’s Bristol team, including Ned Dorbin, who said: “Molson differentiates by being a national operator for a full range of heavy equipment brands, aftermarket parts and the ability to service increasingly complex machines. The company’s growth has been achieved through a strong and committed management team led by Robin and Jonathan, and a focus on developing longstanding relationships with UK customers and international OEM brands. We’re delighted to be supporting the company’s future growth as a minority partner.”

MPU

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