Fourteen Midland companies are featured in the Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain’s top private-equity-backed companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last two years.
Despite the tough economic climate, the 14 companies with headquarters in the Midlands, up from 13 last year, have added 6,180 jobs over the last two years, employ 17,544 people, and have generated combined profits of £122 million.
The top company in the region is The Works, the discount bookseller based in Sutton Coldfield, ranked 7th nationally.
Bought out of administration three years ago by chief executive Anthony Solomon and turnaround specialists Endless, profits have grown an average 87 per cent a year over the last two years, to an annualised £10.3m in 2011.
New to the table in 88th place is Birmingham-based patisserie and café chain operator Patisserie Valerie, which has grown to 47 outlets around the UK in just six years.
In 2006, Risk Capital Partners and Luke Johnson bought the firm in a £6m deal and with chief executive Paul May at the helm, profits have grown an average 26 per cent a year over two years, to £6m in 2010.
Darren Boocock, Deloitte’s head of corporate finance for the Midlands, said: “Despite the many challenges facing the UK economy, it is very pleasing to see so many successful private-equity-backed businesses in the Midlands.
“It is clear that strong management teams supported by private-equity investors can deliver above average performance which in turn makes them attractive M&A candidates.”
The other Midland companies in the table are electrical product manufacturer Nexus, based in Telford; Northampton based 99p Stores; Solihull’s UK Drainage Network; Walsall social housing contractor Bullock; plastic mouldings supplier Homelux Nenplas, based in Derbyshire; Warwick construction consultancy Rhead Group; Telford’s Wrap Film Systems; the National Accident Helpline, based in Northants; telecoms provider TTG from Derby; Willenhall based Poundland; Tyrrell’s Potato Chips based in Leominster and marketing services provider GI Solutions Group from Leicester.
The top 100 companies attribute their profit growth to new client wins, development of new products and services and expansion overseas.
However, the increase in profits is tempered by the high level of debt owed by many of the companies on the table.
They have average debts of £50m, equivalent to four times profits.
In terms of sectors on the league table, manufacturing showed an increase this year, with a total of 25 companies, up from 14 last year and there are 61 service companies.
For inclusion in the table profits had to exceed £1m in the base year and £3m in the latest year, but had to be less than £50m.
Profits are defined as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, which is used by private equity houses as the best indicator of a company’s profit.
Companies had to be registered in the UK, independent, unquoted and ultimate holding companies. At least 20 per cent of a company’s shares had to be owned by a private equity fund.