County Durham battery manufacturer Alexander Technologies Europe Ltd (ATEL) has been acquired by its incumbent management team in a transaction part-funded under a £9.2m senior secured unitranche facility provided by Shard Credit Partners.

The transaction, which has been completed for an undisclosed sum, will support the continued growth, expansion and development of the company, which works closely with its blue-chip OEM customers in the design and manufacture of customised rechargeable battery packs and charging equipment that are designed for integration with health and safety devices, personal protection products, medical devices, and highly engineered portable powered products.

ATEL sells its products both in the UK and internationally, with a focus in North America and Europe.

Founded more than 40 years ago, County Durham-based ATEL, has been acquired from US-based private equity house Woodside Capital Partners.

In addition to providing initial acquisition funding for the MBO, the facility also includes a £1 million backstop guarantee and funding line in support of a significant development capital investment programme.

This will facilitate the move into a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing and warehouse premises and the creation of a meaningful number of new jobs at ATEL’s main site in Peterlee.  The planning and investment in plant and machinery is currently underway and will substantially increase manufacturing capacity.

This transaction marks the third consecutive MBO in the North of England this year in which Shard Credit Partners has acted as the exclusive financing provider to an incumbent management team.  The UK-focused direct lending fund earlier this year supported both the £13.5 million MBO of Leeds-based BW Legal by its co-founder Rachael Withers and the MBO of GadCap Technical Solutions, based in Washington, Tyne & Wear, by its senior management team.

Shard Credit Partners was advised by a team from Ryecroft Glenton (RG) Corporate Finance led by Partner and Head of Corporate Finance Carl Swansbury, supported by Alex Simpson and Chris Black.  Tax advice was provided by RG’s Simon Whiteside, Simon Hopwood and Jon Routledge with Financial Due Diligence delivered by RG’s Grahame Maughan and Andrew Cameron.

Legal advice to Shard Credit Partners was provided by Alison Davidson-Cox and Sophie Denton from Gateley, led by Senior Banking Partner Andrew Madden.

Woodside Capital Partners was advised by US-based investment banking firm SSG Capital Advisors and European based group Saxenhammer & Co.  UK Legal advice was provided by Ward Hadaway’s Paul Christian and Kate McLean, along with Muckle LLP.

Michael Shirley, CEO of ATEL said, “The team is very excited to begin the next chapter in the history of ATEL.  This partnership will allow Alexander to extend its strong, double-digit growth achieved over the last three years and combine its recently awarded ISO 13485 quality certification with the new development plans in the North East.  We are fortunate to have a highly specialised team with a proven track record and this combination helps to solidify the company’s future as a top designer and manufacturer of portable power.”

Alastair Brown, CEO of Shard Credit Partners said, “Alexander Technologies Europe Ltd is an example of the high quality, technology-led companies located in the Northern Powerhouse region that, through our investment and experience, will enable us to build on their previous achievements to deliver greater growth and financial success.  It has established a strong position in its industry, which is testament to the expertise and experience of its workforce.  We are confident, by working in close partnership with CEO Michael Shirley and the management team, that the business can achieve increased market share through the enhanced production of its innovative technologies.”

“It has established a strong position in its industry, which is testament to the expertise and experience of its workforce.  We are confident, by working in close partnership with CEO Michael Shirley and the management team, that the business can achieve increased market share through the production of its innovative technologies.”

Carl Swansbury, Partner and Head of Corporate Finance at RGCF, said: “Shard Credit Partners’ continued investment in the North East and Yorkshire demonstrates its confidence in the regions and its foresight to identify and engage with companies that will benefit, not only from private credit investment, but also from its experience and expertise.

“This significant transaction will support ATEL in achieving its next stage of growth, but also provide a boost to the North East economy through continued investment in technology and job creation.”