Stirling Square backs Buyout of Whittan Storage Systems from Permira

Stirling Square backs Buyout of Whittan Storage Systems from Permira

London, 14 February 2006, Stirling Square Capital Partners ("Stirling Square"), the pan-European private equity firm announces that it has backed the buyout of Whittan Storage Systems ("Whittan") from funds advised by Permira. Total funding for the transaction is approximately £90 million.

Whittan is one of the leading European suppliers of storage solutions and the established market leader in the UK. Whittan sells, markets and distributes three core products, pallet racking, shelving and lockers to a wide range of customers. It trades under a number of well established brands including: Link51, Permar, Polypal and Moresecure. It has manufacturing facilities in the UK, Spain and Belgium and its own sales and distribution operations in these countries plus France, Germany and Holland. It employs nearly 1000 staff In 2005, Whittan had sales of approximately € 200 million.

Whittan’s management team, headed by CEO, Andrew Butler, will aim to grow market share in the Continental Europe markets both organically and through acquisition, in addition to maximising cross-selling opportunities via the current European distribution platform. European sales currently account for 40% of Whittan’s turnover. Whittan will also look to grow its presence in the archiving and leisure markets, which demonstrate strong growth potential.

Martin Calderbank, Partner at Stirling Square commented, "With excellent products and a high level of service, Whittan has become the market leader in the UK. We see great opportunities for the company in Europe. We look forward to working with Andrew and his team to capitalise on these opportunities. This deal is a classic example of the investments Stirling Square makes, buying regional champions and building them into European and global leaders",

Andrew Butler, CEO of Whittan added, "Whittan has been in business for over 50 years and established an excellent reputation in the storage systems market. We have a strong portfolio and a number of new and interesting products.. I am excited about working together with Stirling Square in ensuring the next stage in Whittan’s growth"

Permira were advised by Ian Williams of RW Baird