Bridgeman Stainless Solutions acquired by Direction Fund Limited

Our Client – The Vendor

Bridgeman Stainless Solutions (BSS) is one of Queensland’s foremost specialists in stainless steel solutions. The Business has a successful history of developing customised products for its key customers, particularly where superior abrasion resistance, corrosion resistance and/or “clean surfaces” are required. It is a long-standing and trusted supplier to several major food franchise networks, including KFC, Sizzler and Dominos. BSS also provides its services to large scale infrastructure works as well as to high profile commercial and institutional development projects. Supported by approx. 45 staff and an experienced management team the Business has diversified revenue streams, high levels of repeat business, and consistent solid gross and net margins.

Having operated for 16 years, in 2013 its Managing Director sought to step back and set in place a succession strategy for retirement. He believed BSS would benefit from a new owner with the capital and capabilities to take the Business to the next level. With this in mind he appointed a QLD business broker to find a suitable buyer, however the process was unsuccessful. So after 12 months he appointed a more corporate broker with a ‘national database’ of buyers. Unfortunately, by 2015 there were still no offers nor any interested buyers. Given past experience, in mid-2015 BSS reluctantly appointed Johnsons Corporate in the hope that as specialists in selling mid-sized businesses they would be able to successfully complete a divestment campaign.

The Sales Strategy

With BSS having a strong management team, forward orders and a pipeline of qualified leads, Johnsons felt the business represented an attractive opportunity for a strategic acquirer. Johnsons Corporate’s custom research & marketing focused on Stainless Steel Fabricators across Australia, while secondary or related markets included: General & Mixed Engineering Firms, Commercial Kitchen Equipment Manufacturers, and Fit-Out Companies as well as a shortlist of private equity & financial buyers. Johnsons ran a proactive direct marketing campaign that uncovered 22 qualified, interested parties. Within 4 months Johnsons had 4 genuine buyers at the table and offers from three. Further negotiations resulted in Offer and Acceptance being secured 18 weeks after going to market.

The Buyer

Direction Fund Limited is a private investment fund that invests in SMEs and listed stocks in order to deliver enhanced returns for charitable organisations associated with the deaf and hearing impaired. DFL saw a solid business with an established management team that could be owned and operated as a stand-alone investment to provide an attractive return to its stakeholders.