Aspen Pumps

Deal summary

Aspen Pumps (Aspen) is a highly successful British export business designing and manufacturing condensate removal pumps, HVAC installation accessories and mounting systems. Aspen’s products are available in over 100 countries worldwide. Its products are focused on the needs of installation engineers and contractors enabling them to deliver efficient and professional installations of a wide range of HVAC equipment.

Aspen has seen tremendous growth over the last ten years with product innovation creating the largest and most user-friendly range of pumps and accessories on the market. Increasing numbers of global air conditioning installations and greater awareness of the benefits of pump solutions are key market drivers.

In 2007, Inflexion Private Equity Partners backed CEO Adrian Thompson to acquire the business from its founders. Since then, Inflexion and management have scaled the business significantly and created an enviable track record of performance. However, the time had come where the business plan required further investment for acquisitions and Inflexion concluded it was an appropriate time to realise their investment.

In late 2014, in conjunction with a potential IPO, Catalyst were appointed to act for the shareholders to prepare the business for sale and secure a financial sponsor to back the management team to deliver their plan.

What difference did we make?

Following an initial review of the business, it was clear that Aspen was going to be a highly attractive investment opportunity. The most suitable party was likely to be one that understood the quality of the asset, bought into the exciting opportunity the plan represented and could therefore reward management accordingly.

After presenting our assessment of likely financial sponsors, from the UK and USA, we commenced a preparatory process. This involved preparing sale documentation and managing a full vendor due diligence programme. Working with our Debt Capital Markets team, we also commenced discussions with potential debt providers including banks and alternative debt funds.

Following an intensive period of work we solicited offers. At this stage, 3i’s offer stood out on the basis of a combination of strategic fit, price, management terms and deliverability. From this first offer we managed 3i through to completion in only one week. At no stage did we award exclusivity. This enabled us to achieve a close on the transaction ahead of timetable, just ten working weeks after our appointment.

Upon completion of the transaction, Inflexion Private Equity Partners realised a return of 14 times their original investment and the management team have also achieved a market leading incentive package for a deal of this size and nature.

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What our client said
"At the outset we were not sure whether Catalyst could represent both management and our private equity investor. However, as soon as we started working together these concerns disappeared. Thanks to Catalyst we have secured a great deal for all shareholders and found a new partner that will help us take Aspen to the next level. We were very impressed by all at Catalyst and the firm has impressive strength in depth." Adrian Thompson
CEO, Aspen Pumps