Business

Co Antrim kitchen furniture supplier the latest beneficiary of multi-million pound BGF funding

Toomebridge-based Uform has secured a multi-million pound funding package from BGF and Danske Bank. Pictured are Eamon Donnelly, Paul Donnelly and Simon Oliphant from Uform
Gareth McKeown

A CO Antrim kitchen furniture supplier has become the latest company in the north to benefit from a lucrative investor fund.

Toomebridge-based Uform has secured a multi-million pound funding package from BGF and Danske Bank. The kitchen door and component supplier becomes the fifth BGF portfolio company in the north, with more than £40 million of patient capital provided to local businesses over the past three years.

BGF is the UK and Ireland's most active investor in small and mid-sized businesses and its current portfolio in Northern Ireland includes: family-owned housebuilder, Braidwater; recycling company, RiverRidge; coffee and food shop chain, Bob & Berts; and software developer, AuditComply.

Uform CEO, Eamon Donnelly said the latest investment will help the company continue its ongoing programme of expansion.

“We started a four-phase growth strategy in 2013 and the business has grown rapidly in that time. We've invested heavily in doubling the size of our operation and installed state of the art paint lines to increase our productivity and product range. Uform is an ambitious company and we want to continue our pace of growth across the UK and Ireland in the coming years," he said.

“BGF is a good match for our business and we have already built a very strong relationship with the BGF team - they have bought into our vision of where we want to take the business and the network they bring has opened up many opportunities not just here, but also across Great Britain. Their experience will ensure they help us scale the business, enhance our operational competencies and align our strategic plan to achieve the next few years' planned growth.”

Patrick Graham, BGF's head of central Scotland and Northern Ireland said they aim to help Uform become number one in their sector.

“Uform has had an impressive growth rate over the last few years, tripling its turnover while investing in new technologies and expanding its production capabilities," he said.

“Uform has set itself an ambitious growth target for the next three years and we're delighted that BGF's investment will provide the catalyst to achieving those goals.”

As part of its investment, Jim Meredith will be joining the board of Uform as the company's non-executive chairman and Graham Clarke will join the board as BGF investor director.

Uform, founded in 1993 by the Donnelly family, specialises in the manufacture and wholesale of kitchen furnishings. In 2017 the company completed a £3m expansion of its Toomebridge premises and previously set a target of achieving £34m turnover this year.

BGF provides patient capital to businesses with revenues typically between £5m and £100m in exchange for a minority, non-controlling stake. It initially invests between £1m and £10m and can provide additional funding to support further growth.

use the investment to grow its market share in the UK, Northern Irish and Republic of Ireland markets.

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