Maven strengthens team as SLF completes latest £5m investment

Paul Johnston
Paul Johnston

One of the four founders and co-owners of John Boyle’s investment vehicle Hamilton Portfolio is to join Maven Capital Partners.

Paul Johnston, who began his career with Ernst & Young in Aberdeen, left HP in November 2012 when it had some £30 million invested.

He then joined Bowmont Capital Partners in Glasgow, which two years ago established the Bowmont chartered accountancy business.

Mr Johnston’s early clients included Scottish Enterprise and Sony Venture Capital Europe. He set up his own consultancy and property investor Hayburn Capital in 2008.

Mr Johnston joins Glasgow-based Maven’s team of more than 45 equity and property professionals investing across the UK as the Maven-managed Scottish Loan Fund announced it has completed a new £5 million investment in The GT4 Group, the parent company of Blantyre-based Gavin Watson.

The latest agreement adds to the eight sale or investment deals closed over the past three months by Maven, which is headed by Bill Nixon.

Gavin Watson has a history spanning back over 150 years and specialises in wet glue label manufacturing for the spirits, coffee, food, water and beverage sectors.

The strategic acquisition of TPL will extend the breadth of the Group’s services providing its clients with a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all their labelling needs, avoiding the need to use several manufacturers, Maven said.

The mezzanine finance provided by the SLF has been utilised by GT4 to assist with its acquisition of TPL Labels Limited (“TPL”), a pressure sensitive label manufacturer headquartered in East Kilbride, as well as providing additional development capital to support the continued growth of the business.

Wet glue label manufacturing is a specialist market within the packaging sector and Gavin Watson is one of seven main players in the UK. Adding pressure sensitive labelling to the Group’s portfolio will enable the businesses to offer its renowned high quality production expertise and servicing levels to a market forecast to grow significantly over the coming years.

Blantyre based Gavin Watson employs 70 staff and serves a range of high profile blue chip customers including Highland Spring, Nestle, AG Barr, Diageo, Innocent and Baxter’s Food Group. The acquisition of TPL will bring a number of new clients to the Group, covering a broad range of industries including spirits, beer, automotive, cosmetics, electronics, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Julie Glenny, Investment Director at Maven, said: “This acquisition by The GT4 Group makes strategic sense on a number of levels and provides significant cross selling opportunities across both operations. We’re delighted the management team selected the SLF as its preferred funding partner and look forward to working with them in delivering their growth aspirations for the business.”

Ian Johnstone, Chairman at Gavin Watson Printers, added: “I am delighted to have concluded this acquisition, with the support of the SLF, TPL Labels is a well-managed high quality label manufacturer that will fit perfectly into our Group, allowing us to offer Pressure Sensitive Labels to our existing client base and extend the reach of the Group into new market sectors.”

Michelle Kinnaird, Investment Director at the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “We are pleased to see the SLF supporting another ambitious Scottish company to expand. This investment allows the company to diversify and increase its product offering and deliver long term growth.”

Financial due diligence was conducted by Consilium, legals by HBJ Gateley, management referencing by Argyll Fenton, commercial due diligence by RPL, and insurance by Vista Insurance.

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