Shaws since 1897
Meridian Equity financed an MBO of Shaws in April 2009 from the Administrator. This niche manufacturing business was one of only a handful worldwide that provided maintenance/repair services to terracotta buildings, as well as manufacturing handcrafted fireclay sinks. It was part of the Irish group Qualceram Group Plc, which specialised in the supply of bathroom furniture. Shaws became distressed simply because its group was distressed.
Having been impressed with the incumbent CEO of Shaws and recognising the long-term prospects for the business, Meridian Equity provided funds in a very short time to acquire the business and fund the business’s working capital requirements. We partnered with the CEO and acquired the business from administrator.
In 2017, having tripled the profits in the 8 years under our ownership, we successfully sold the business to Fortune Brands Inc., the NYSE-listed home and security products business. The management team, led by CEO David Dare, were outstanding in their ability to manage and patiently grow the business thereby not placing undue risk into it and thus our capital.
This investment also provides further evidence of our ability to take a “long term” view of our investments. Having no external funders to place any exit pressure on us, we slowly grew the business, purposefully taking the time to make it attractive to trade buyers by creating a solid platform upon which they could leverage.