Home Greater Manchester New management team sets sail at Braidbar Boats

New management team sets sail at Braidbar Boats

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(L-R clockwise) Susan Mason, Peter Mason, James Attwood, David Wright, Stephen Lee, Donna Hitchen

North West-based narrowboat manufacturer, Braidbar Boats, looks set for continued success as it secures a six-figure funding package from the Royal Bank of Scotland, to support a management buy-out and ongoing growth.

Braidbar Boats, which has been owned by Peter and Susan Mason since 2007, is based on the Macclesfield Canal close to Poynton and has been building market-leading narrowboats for more than 30 years. It has long been established as the ‘go-to’ UK manufacturer of high quality, bespoke narrowboats in terms of quality, design and customer satisfaction, with each boat custom-designed, incorporating unique features and the latest technology.

After 10 years running the business as a husband and wife team, last year Peter and Susan brought James Attwood, an award-winning boat designer and his partner, Donna, into the business, to help them manage the day-to-day operations of the busy firm.

The funding package has seen Susan’s stake in the business acquired by James, who is now responsible for the overall operation of the firm, with Donna taking on the day-to-day running of the office. With the new management team as well as the funding in place, the business can increase its annual production, which presently has the capacity to build up to seven boats every year, and satisfy currently unmet demand for its highly bespoke, quality product.

The Masons were advised in the transaction by Andrew Feeke, Corporate Finance Senior Director, David Wright, Director of Banking & Finance and Amanda Sayle, Tax Director, at North West accountancy and advisory firm, CLB Coopers, which is part of Baldwins Group.

Speaking of the transaction, Peter said: “I am very pleased that James has joined the business. He brings with him many years of expertise and new thinking to the design of our boats.

“From start to finish, the teams at CLB Coopers and Royal Bank of Scotland have been helpful, communicative and very professional as we have moved through the process. We are all thrilled at the outcome.”

James commented: “I am excited about the future for Braidbar Boats having had this opportunity, as we are building on an already well-established and well-respected boat building business. The wealth of knowledge and experience has become even stronger with this partnership, and this will take the Company even further.

“We are looking forward to developing fresh ideas as well as adapting to new technologies and with the team in place, this is very achievable”.

David of CLB Coopers, said: “I am delighted to have assisted the management team at Braidbar Boats in securing a well-structured and competitive funding package.

“This deal is a great example of how our Banking and Finance team works alongside our specialist Corporate Finance and Tax teams to provide a full-service offering, from structuring and managing the deal right through to securing the debt to complete the transaction.”

Funding for the transaction was arranged by Stephen Lee, Relationship Director at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

He said: “Braidbar Boats has established an excellent reputation for delivering innovative designs and this deal strengthens the management team who aim to drive forward the business even further. This is a very exciting time for the business and I am very pleased to be supporting its future growth strategy.”