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Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management UK, together with Bay Tree Private Equity and RMB Corvest, are pleased to announce the successful closing of the management buyout of Hawco Limited, a specialist supplier of components for commercial refrigeration, air-conditioning, vending and industrial markets, from Diploma plc.

Westbrooke provided a significant equity co-investment into the transaction in support of Bay Tree Private Equity, who sourced and led the deal.

In addition to the capital provided, Westbrooke brings a wealth of private equity experience and expertise to the partnership. The Westbrooke Group has a strong private equity track record, having invested shareholder capital in predominantly controlling stakes in multiple industries including retail, FMCG and industrial and commercial value-add distribution and manufacturing. Over the past 18 years, Westbrooke has achieved an annualised return (IRR) in excess of 40% and a multiple of capital returned (MOIC) of 10x on its private equity investments.

Westbrooke has direct experience in this sector having owned TecsaReco from 2011 to 2018. TecsaReco was successfully exited to the Swedish listed global consolidator, Beijer Ref, at a return in line with Westbrooke Group’s track record. TecsaReco is South Africa’s second largest value-added distributor of domestic and commercial refrigeration components and air-conditioning to the trade, and the largest distributor of domestic appliance parts.

This experience and expertise are a key value-added component to Bay Tree and Corvest partnering with Westbrooke, where Westbrooke will be actively involved in supporting Bay Tree in areas such as strategy and M&A.

Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management seeks to co-invest alongside experienced, successful private equity sponsors and operators who share our active investment approach and are financially aligned. The business focuses on making investments which display asymmetric risk / return profiles (protected downside and uncapped upside) which satisfy Westbrooke’s key private equity investment characteristics.

Martin Butler, Managing Director of Hawco Limited, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time and a huge opportunity for the business. The combination of Westbrooke, Bay Tree and RMB Corvest’s capital and expertise will bring the tools needed to build further on the value-add services we offer and expand on the success of our international sales.”

Bay Tree Partner, Ed Cottrell, said: “We are delighted to have the backing of Westbrooke in our investment in Hawco. Their investment approach, both wider and sector-specific experience, deliverability and partnership mentality were important in ensuring the success of the transaction and will be invaluable as we take Hawco through its next phase of growth.”

Robert Grieve, Head of Private Equity UK at Westbrooke, expressed excitement about the investment and partnership with Bay Tree. He looks forward to establishing a long-term relationship with the Bay Tree team. Further, he noted: “We look forward to supporting Bay Tree and the Hawco management team with our industry experience and expertise and are excited to work with our partners to achieve our collective ambitions for the investment.”

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