Coalfields Funds

Enterprise Ventures backs buy-in at North’s leading blinds company

The North’s leading supplier of commercial blinds has changed hands in a management buy-in backed by Enterprise Ventures.

The deal allows Rod Roberts-Dear to take control of Dearnleys in Wakefield and its sister company Pentel Contracts in Salford. Mr Roberts-Dear, whose previous roles include Managing Director within the automotive group Inchcape and Marketing Director of the tyre firm Continental, will now become Managing Director of the combined business.

The previous owners Andrew McHale, who was Managing Director, and his wife Rachel, the Finance Director, are planning to retire but will continue to act as consultants and Mr McHale will retain a minority shareholding.

Dearnleys and Pentel, which operate as one entity, are leading manufacturers and installers of blinds, solar shading solutions, and cubicle tracking systems to commercial and public buildings, with a primary focus in the North of England. The business, which supplies a range of products under its Astralux brand and also works with leading brands such as Silent Gliss, serves business clients including architects, contractors and building end-users.

It employs 40 staff across the two sites, with Dearnleys, which was established over 80 years ago, covering the area from North East down to the East Midlands and the South East and Pentel, established in the 1980s, covering the North West, the West Midlands and Wales.

Enterprise Ventures has invested from the Coalfields Growth Fund, one of its funds under management. Wayne Thomas, Investment Director with Enterprise Ventures, said: “Dearnleys and Pentel are leaders in their field in the North, with a sound management team and a reputation for quality and reliability. This is a profitable business which is showing strong growth and has potential for further expansion. With his track record for bringing new products to market and leading growth, Rod Roberts-Dear is well placed to make it a significant player in the market.”

Springboard Corporate Finance advised Rod Roberts-Dear on the acquisition. Shawbrook Business Credit provided debt funding and an invoice discounting facility.

Enterprise Ventures is part of Mercia Technologies PLC.