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NorthEdge achieves 2.5x return on Fine Industries sale

NorthEdge Capital has completed the sale of its chemicals manufacturer Fine Industries to Chinese-listed life sciences company Lianhe Chemical Technology.

The transaction is NorthEdge’s fourth exit following the sale of Sumo Digital and IPOs of Accrol Group and Ramsdens Financial, and represents a 2.5x return on investment for NorthEdge Capital Fund I.
Shenzhen-listed Lianhetech has a market cap of approximately USD2 billion and revenues in excess of USD600 million across seven chemical production sites, two machinery production sites and two R&D centres in China.
Based in Middlesbrough, Fine Industries will become Lianhetech’s European base, allowing the organisation to operate in closer proximity to its customers and markets in crop protection, pharma and performance chemicals. The transaction also extends the business’ portfolio of product development services and manufacturing solutions.
With around 220 employees, Fine Industries is a contract manufacturer of products and solutions used in the chemical and life sciences industries. The company develops and manufactures complex intermediates and actives for its agrochemical and pharma clients, as well as a broad portfolio of solutions for the chemicals market. The firm delivered a turnover of GBP52 million and an EBITDA of GBP10 million in the year to September 2016.
NorthEdge originally invested in Fine Industries in November 2013. The investment was led by partner and head of new business Ray Stenton, assisted by investment director Tom Rowley and has been managed by Stenton, portfolio director Ben Wildsmith and investment manager George Potts.
NorthEdge operates from offices in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester with GBP540 million of funds under management, and is currently investing from NorthEdge Capital Fund II which closed in March 2016.
Stenton says: “This deal represents a fantastic return on investment for NorthEdge Capital Fund I. It is pleasing to see our portfolio companies be recognised internationally, and it is testament to the strong progress Fine Industries has made in the years since our investment that it has attracted interest from Lianhetech – a key player in the chemicals sector.”
Maggie Wang, board chairwoman and CEO at Lianhetech, says: “The acquisition provides the geographic presence, capability and expertise needed to develop new products and better utilise Lianhetech’s state-of-the-art technologies for our customers around the world. I am delighted to welcome the Fine Industries Group, its employees, expertise and capabilities into our company. Together we will strengthen our technical solutions and product offerings to our global customer base.”

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