New team and funding for Viscose

Finance Wales has closed its biggest investment of the past 12 months through the £5 million backing provided to packaging manufacturer Viscose Closures.

The round consists of a £2.3 million investment from Finance Wales as well as an angel investment from a group led by Philip Roberts.

Viscose supplies food and drink packaging specifically for tamper-evident closures for the alcoholic and soft drinks, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals markets.

As part of the deal Gareth Rowlands has taken over as managing director at the Swansea-based business and heads up the new management team on the back of the retirement of its previous managing and finance directors.

Rowlands says, ‘For me, buying into Viscose was an unmissable opportunity as it’s a profitable, international business which has been trading for over 100 years.

‘It has stayed ahead of the competition by adapting to the needs of its loyal customer base. The UK’s plastic packaging industry is globally respected, particularly in food and drink where there’s increasing demand for eco-friendly packaging.’

Previous experience for Rowlands in the manufacturing sector came in the form of managing director and divisional chief executive positions at glass business Schott Glass.

David Birch, senior investment executive at Finance Wales, adds, ‘Our investment opens up a new chapter for this well-established company. This was a complex equity deal and also our largest investment this year.

‘It was important to structure the deal so that Gareth and the team have the capital they need to grow the company.’

Entering the company alongside Rowlands is new chairman Keith Jordan who has previous experience in leading private equity backed management buy-ins.

The investment in Viscose Closures marks the second deal in a week for Finance Wales after the firm backed Swansea-headquartered Acuitas Medical through a seven figure sum.

In December the fund also led an investment and grants package for ADC Biotechnology that is set to allow the business to expand development and commercialisation of its new antibody drug production technology.

Finance Wales was established by the Welsh government in 2011 and invests in small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country. To date it has invested £218 million through 2,700 deals.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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