Black Country merchant Brownhills Glass has acquired a south east rival in a £2.4 million deal as part of a planned expansion across the country.
Finance director Mark Harrison told the Post the move was the next step in the firm's growth as it looked to increase it geographical reach on the back of increased demand from customers.
Launched in 1979, Walsall-based Brownhills Glass is a glass merchant and processor and teamed up with Bath investment firm Chelverton Asset Management to buy Crawley company Tufwell Glass from Laidlaw Interiors Group
Tufwell is a long-established glass processing business and supplies toughened, laminated and mirrored glass with London's Shard and Olympic Park among its list of recent clients.
Mr Harrison said it was the company's first significant acquisition in terms of size after it bought Wiltshire-based processing unit Corsham Glass Centre in May last year.
It now employs circa 80 staff across the group with the Tufwell Glass deal almost doubling the payroll.
"What we're very keen to do is try to grow the business through our geographical presence," he said.
"Tufwell Glass is a good fit as it's on the doorstep of Greater London which is a not a part of the world we do an enormous amount of business in ourselves. It made sense from this angle and they have a good business which has been around a long time.
"There's clearly going to be a period of consolidation over the next few months but, once we've come through that, we will continue the acquisitions and look for other opportunities that fill in the geographical blanks.
"We don't see us covering the whole of the UK but we would certainly look at opportunities in the north.
"As a result of this latest acquisition, we have now got customers saying they would like to serve areas up north."
The deal was financed through a mix of Brownhills Glass' own cash reserves and equity through Chelverton Asset Management.
Last year, Chelverton launched a new 'investor club' service and the Tufwell buyout is the club's maiden deal
Chelverton Investor Club raised £1.2 million of equity from its high net worth membership towards the transaction with supporting debt finance from Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance.
The deal was sourced by Steve Thornhill, a corporate financier and adviser to Brownhills Glass which underwent a management buyout backed by Aldermore in 2012.
Mr Harrison added: "Steve introduced us to Chelverton Investor Club, we got on very well with the senior guys there. We felt they understood what we were trying to achieve and it was a good fit for us."
Richard Bucknell, Chelverton Asset Management's investment director who led the deal, has joined the board. Laidlaw Interiors Group was advised by Eversheds (legal) and BDO (corporate finance).
Chelverton Asset Management was represented by Roxburgh Milkins (legal) and PwC (financial due diligence and tax.
Law firm SGH Martineau acted for Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance while Brownhills Glass was represented by Res Ispa (legal), Intelligent Corporate Finance and Smith Cooper (tax).