GIL Investments is a UK-based private investment firm which acquires controlling stakes in manufacturing businesses and aims to support their growth over the long term. We currently manage twelve investments within our portfolio across a variety of sectors and geographies.
Since GIL’s formation in 1991 the team has worked with existing management teams in buy-outs from larger groups, acted as a responsible partner in family businesses involved in retirement sales and assisted in distressed or turnaround scenarios. Our personnel and current portfolio reflects this variety and flexibility of approach. Investment is predominantly made into UK manufacturing businesses, always in partnership with management, and always with a long-term view of the success of that investment.
The GIL team has managed investments including a FTSE350 infrastructure products group, a construction group which built the Severn Bridge, the largest fireworks manufacturer in the UK and the largest commercial brass foundry in the UK.
We are proud of our twenty-year track record of providing entrepreneurial management teams with the opportunity to make a fresh start and to develop the potential of their businesses and are always interested in new investment opportunities.
Donations in memory of David Grove OBE are invited to be made to the Marie Curie Big Build Appeal at http://www.justgiving.com/davidgrove
GIL Investments is the management company of Grove Industries, a West Midlands based group founded in 1991 by David Grove which seeks to help companies develop their potential over the long term.
We are privately funded and as such do not suffer from many of the constraints associated with private equity houses. In particular we do not have a time horizon for exiting our investments and seek to help management teams build equity value, both for themselves and for us, over the long term. The catalyst for exit will more likely be a result of management’s aspirations rather than our own requirements.
Our team draws on backgrounds as diverse as corporate finance, engineering, insolvency and corporate consultancy. We aim to support our investments with pragmatic, straightforward advice and see ourselves as long-term partners for good management teams.
GIL Charitable Trust
In 2010 the GIL Charitable Trust was formed to support selected charities such as Help for Heroes and the Solihull Hospice Appeal.
For more information about our Investment team, please click on an individual’s name on the menu to the left.
Trevor Middleton, Investment Director
Trevor is a highly experienced financial and investment director who joined Grove Industries in 1995 from a senior position in Midlands manufacturing business. He works with local management at several of the portfolio companies to source new acquisitions and commercial opportunities.
Trevor trained as an engineer and is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Les Litwinowicz, Chief Executive
Les has been involved in Grove Industries and associated businesses since 1991. Prior to joining the group he held senior roles at Mitchell Somers plc and Birmingham Mint Group Plc.
Les specialises in identifying investment opportunities and working with local management on strategy and acquisition. He maintains contact with a large number of individuals seeking the opportunity to be involved with new deals, and always welcomes new approaches.
Les qualified as an accountant with Ernst & Young, and has a particularly strong knowledge of the engineering, printing and chemicals industries.
Following the passing of David Grove in November 2011, Les took on the role of Chief Executive with the full support of the board and shareholders of Grove Industries.
Richard Banham, Investment Director
Richard is an experienced corporate finance professional and joined GIL in 2010. Previously Richard worked in mid market advisory in the City of London at Bridgewell (subsequently acquired by Landsbanki) and KBC Peel Hunt. He sources potential investment opportunities and is always keen to hear from intermediaries and advisers regarding potential deals.
Richard qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte and has a degree in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Warwick.
Jonathon Grove, Director
Jon joined GIL in 2010 from Lansons Communications, a PR consultancy in the City of London. He sources and analyses new acquisition opportunities and works with existing investments on business development, marketing and communications projects. In November 2011 he formally joined the board of Grove Industries.
Jon is always happy to meet intermediaries, advisers and journalists seeking an introduction to a working relationship with GIL. He is currently studying towards the Corporate Finance Qualification with the ICAEW.
Linked In profile: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/jonathongrove
For more information about our Advisory team, please click on an individual’s name on the menu to the left.
Lord Digby Jones, Chairman
Lord Digby Jones came to public attention during his six and a half years as Director General of the CBI from 2000. During that time he established a considerable reputation based on his forthright support for British Industry.
He stepped down from the CBI in 2006, and during the following 12 months worked as an advisor to Deloitte and Barclays Capital.
In June 2007 he was appointed Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment, a role in which he travelled the world promoting British business.
In 2009 he joined the advisory board of Grove Industries, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to assist Grove Industries and its associated businesses in developing its product portfolio, geographic spread and future strategy.
Edward Carter, Consultant
Edward is a highly motivated Chartered Accountant and entrepreneur with many years of experience at board level
in management, finance and communications, and is a former partner in global accountancy and advisory firm Ernst & Young.
He is also an award winning and experienced public relations (PR) professional with a special knowledge of financial and corporate PR.
Edward is highly experienced in working with listed and unlisted companies in a number of advisory roles including independent directorships.
Simon Grove, Non-Executive Director
Simon joined GIL in December 2011 as a non-executive director.
Simon brings with him experience in commercial law to assist the investment team in its acquisition and growth of businesses and to assist individual management teams in their running of the businesses."
Structuring a deal to meet the needs of the vendor, the management and the buyer can often be complex. Our funding structure enables us to be particularly flexible when developing a solution to meet all parties’ requirements. Where speed is of the essence the small size of our investment team enables us to make decisions very quickly.
Typical opportunities will include management buyouts and buy-ins, restructurings, turnarounds and complex corporate carve outs.
For new investment opportunities the companies will be headquartered in the UK and be involved in sectors such as ‘General Industrials’ or ‘Support Services’ but we will consider opportunities in established businesses across most sectors.
In addition to new investment opportunities we are always interested in evaluating bolt-on opportunities for existing portfolio companies.
Akcros Chemicals is one of the world leaders in the field of additives for the processing and manufacturing of polymers, such as polyvinylchloride (PVC) polyurethane (PU) polyolefins (PO) and is a speciality supplier of additives to the sealants, paint and coatings markets.
Akcros has a pedigree stretching back to 1937, and continues to deliver packaged technical solutions from its manufacturing units in Europe and the USA with a proven track record of producing products of the highest quality, efficiency and reliability.
Bearmach has grown consistently from its formation in 1958 as a small family business based in South Wales to become the world’s largest independent supplier of Land Rover spares and accessories, backed by the service capability of an automated warehouse stocking 10,000 lines.
Bearmach has a distribution operation in Brazil and also exports, through representatives, to 80 countries. GIL acquired Bearmach from private vendors in 2007 and continues to work alongside management to strengthen the business, helping it to increase market share in the UK and beyond.
The original founders of Camvac invented the process of Vacuum Metallisation in the 1930’s and the company, which began business in Cambridge in 1950, went on to pioneer the use of metallised films and laminates for a diverse range of applications and markets. These included items such as electrical capacitors, wallpaper, mirrors, tinsel, gift wrapping and more recently food packaging and insulation products.
Camvac Ltd is now one of the world's largest single site metallisation, in-vacuum coating and lamination operations and is a leading provider to the Liquid Packaging, Fresh Food, Processed Food, Industrial and Conversion markets.
Davicon is a leading manufacturing and services company with origins dating back some 60 years.
Over the past 30 years Davicon has designed, manufactured and installed thousands of mezzanine floors; of all shapes and sizes; for large and small customers alike; across the UK and mainland Europe. Its approach to customer service, quality and innovation has enabled Davicon to become the UK’s market leading mezzanine company.
Davicon’s state of the art purpose-built mezzanine production facility is the largest mezzanine manufacturing site in the UK; its investment in high levels of automation ensures both rapid project turnaround and ‘best in class’ quality.
Davicon is the UK’s only leading mezzanine floor provider with in-house manufacturing. It supplies over 600 mezzanine floors each year with floor areas ranging from 10 m² to well over 15,000 m². Davicon has invested in the latest 3D technology, linked directly to its automated manufacturing operations.
GI Solutions is a marketing support services group, which has grown organically to embrace an increasing range of campaign and customer management needs. GIL invested in the business in October 2008.
GI has developed from being principally a print and direct mail company to become a comprehensive marketing support services company, providing everything from customer insight, through strategy and targeting development, to campaign execution and management, creative print and mail, and response capture.
Key Technologies PLC is a UK based specialist engineering Group comprising two major divisions (aerospace and defence) and ancilliary businesses. The Group was acquired by GIL from a private investor in April 2004 and has continued to improve its performance since that time through growth and operational improvement.
In 2009 the company raised funds via InvestBX to fund further acquisitions and is currently quoted on a match bargain basis by Brewin Dolphin Stockbrokers Ltd. The majority of the shares are still held by Directors of GIL Investments Ltd.
McKechnie Brass Ltd has been manufacturing brass products since the earliest days of the company’s existence in the 1890’s.The business started life in 1871 and finally settled in a purpose built factory in Aldridge, near Walsall, in 1953. The company was a pioneer in the extrusion of brass and copper alloys and at one time was an iconic name in the British non-ferrous industry.
The business eventually left the McKechnie family and passed through several periods of foreign ownership as the UK brass industry declined, and entered administration in 2011. GIL purchased the assets of the business in September 2011.
Total Polyfilm is one of the largest polythene film manufacturers in the United Kingdom. Production sites in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Hertfordshire produce over 50,000 tonnes of plain, printed and converted products every year.
Total Polyfilm offers end of line packaging solutions to a diverse and established customer base across Great Britain and Continental Europe, together with specialised products for the agricultural, mailing and food industries.
Established for over 80 years, VIP-Polymers is the UK's leading manufacturer of seals and gaskets for water and gas pressure pipes, and a major supplier to the non-pressure pipe seal market. In addition, the company's product range includes jacking pipe seals and rail pads.
The company's modern manufacturing facilities include injection moulding, compression moulding and extrusion. Expertise includes: Advanced compound formulation and manufacturing technologies and specialised experience in elastomeric products.
The company manufactures over 3,000 products in total across a wide range of industries and sectors, and GIL supported an MBO in 2003. VIP has recently conducted a programme of investment in new machinery and is always developing new products for its core markets.
Erlson Precision Components is a specialist manufacturer of small,
highly engineered components and assemblies requiring the tightest
dimensional tolerances for a range of demanding automotive and
general industrial applications, in medium-to-high volume.
Other similarly demanding applications are equally catered for, including small, precision machined components for engine, fuel delivery, brake line, fluid power and other specialist off-highway and industrial applications where tolerancing and quality requirements are critical to end performance demands.
Manufacturing is carried out from a 75,000 sq.ft. (7,000sq.m.) facility in Lancashire, UK.
Road Transport Media is the leading provider of information to the road transport industry, comprising the market-leading titles Commercial Motor, Motor Transport and Truck & Driver together with the RoadTransport.com website and the blue-riband annual event the Motor Transport Awards.
RTM joined GIL from Reed Business Information in early 2011 and is based in Sutton, South-West London.
In June 2012 GIL led the acquisition of Trueform Engineering Limited ("Trueform").
Trueform has a national and international reputation for the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of metal fabricated products for the mass transit industry including passenger shelters, digital information systems, security products and other facilities.
The Trueform group also includes Ferrograph Ltd, the UK’s leading provider of electronic passenger information displays. Trueform’s design led approach enables it to work in conjunction with customers to deliver innovative and striking products, key in encouraging people to use public transport, reducing congestion and helping support the transition to low carbon economy.
Trueform is a major supplier to Transport for London (TfL), as well as other customers in the UK and overseas including The West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (Centro) and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
Solutions are provided for all forms of public transport including bus, rail, metro and air travellers.
We are always willing to talk to potential vendors, institutions, intermediaries, or management teams about deals including but not limited to non-core disposals, buyouts, refinancings or recoveries. We will treat any discussions in the strictest confidence and would work with all parties to structure an appropriate deal.
Fundamentally we are long-term investors who value honesty, integrity and dedication, and we believe that our track record with funders and local management speaks for itself.
If you are interested in working with us, please send a CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the address shown on the ‘Contact Us’ tab above.
Testimonials"GIL’s professionalism was demonstrated when we dealt with them during the divestiture of Camvac. They were good negotiators and creative in finding a deal structure satisfactory to both parties."
Jean-Christophe Pouchain − Corporate Development Executive, Europe − Amcor Flexibles
"After extended negotiations, AkzoNobel divested its Akcros Chemicals business to GIL Investments in the beginning of 2007. We appreciated the professionalism, persistence and patience exhibited by the GIL Investments team to finalise this transaction."
Bastiaan van der Heyden − Project Director, AkzoNobel Corporate Strategy and M&A
"Grove Industries approached us at a time when we were considering where next with our business. Their no-nonsense straight approach meant we did a deal in a short timescale at the original terms agreed. Post deal we find Grove Industries very supportive and they are currently assisting us in terms of acquisition opportunities in our sector - something we would not have had time to pursue previously."
Robin Welch − Managing Director, GI Solutions Group
"GIL has a track record in adding value to manufacturing businesses such as ours. Their involvement goes beyond secure financial backing and we expect to benefit from the pooling of knowledge and resources as well as the support of a long term investor."
Michael Gillett − Managing Director, CovPress
"Barclays has a long history of supporting GIL’s businesses, which have enjoyed an enviable track record."
Richard Craven − Manufacturing Specialist Director, Barclays
"Grove approached me to express an interest in our Road Transport publishing brands. This was their first media acquisition and I was impressed by their thorough approach to due diligence, their open communication style and willingness to reach a deal which was a win−win for all parties. They have been very supportive of the MBO team and I wish Grove and the new Road Transport Media business a successful future ."
Jane Burgess − Managing Director, Reed Business Information