Souter Investments
is one of the UK’s leading family investment offices specialising in private equity

Souter Investments backs acquisition of precision engineer Newcastle Tool and Gauge and completes successful exit of flexible packaging business Amerplast

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Souter Investments backs acquisition of precision engineer Newcastle Tool and Gauge and completes successful exit of flexible packaging business Amerplast

Souter Investments has joined a syndicate led by Ignite Growth to acquire leading precision engineer Newcastle Tool & Gauge Limited (“NTG”), whilst also completing the successful sale of Amerplast, a flexible plastics and packaging group located in Finland and Poland to private equity backed Hanmere Polythene.

Founded in 1979, Gateshead based NTG is a precision engineering business manufacturing low volume, high value parts for use in Severe Duty Engineering Applications, where its products operate in high temperature, high pressure, or high stress environments.

The buy-in management buy-out transaction provides a retirement solution for certain shareholder directors, as well as a platform for a buy and build strategy to complement NTG’s existing organic growth initiatives. Incoming Managing Director Mike Hutchinson and Chairman Dr Douglas Dawson join existing shareholder and director Charlie Sampy, who continues with the business as Head of Operations. The transaction completed in December 2020.

Andrew Leek, Partner at Ignite Growth, said, “NTG is a clear leader in its field and is well positioned for future growth in a sector that is also ripe for consolidation. We were impressed by NTG’s reputation amongst its customers and the commitment to the team of skilled machinists. We think the precision engineering sector is right for consolidation and will be working with the team to build NTG both organically and through acquisitions.”

Maurice Shamash, Investment Manager at Souter Investments noted, “NTG is an exciting opportunity for Souter Investments to support a successful and innovative management team as they continue to grow their business alongside experienced investment partners in Ignite Growth. We look forward to supporting Charlie, Mike and Douglas as they seek to build a substantial business in the precision engineering sector.”

Meanwhile, the sale of Souter portfolio company Amerplast, the flexible plastics and packaging specialist, to private equity backed Hanmere Polythene has also been announced.

Souter backed a Lonsdale Capital Partners led syndicate in the corporate carve out of Amerplast from its Finnish listed parent, Suominen Corporation, in 2014.  During the investment period the business has grown into a major player in the hygiene, bakery, and food end markets.  Amerplast has been committed to sustainability, innovation with its packaging solutions deeply integrated in the Circular Economy and is now one of the biggest recycled material users in flexible packaging in Europe.

Alan Dargan of Lonsdale commented: “We are very happy with our investment in Amerplast and the resulting return. The management team led by Chairman David Lennon and CEO Mark Rooney has grown the business and substantially improved its profitability. The team has placed a strong focus on customers during the pandemic and secured a larger share of their business from key accounts. It is gratifying to have done this while helping the environment.”

Maurice Shamash, Investment Manager at Souter Investments said; “We would like to thank the David, Mark and all the team at Amerplast for their hard work and commitment to the business since 2014, and for delivering this successful exit amidst the challenges of the Covid19 pandemic.  We believe that the combination of Hanmere and Amerplast will provide a platform to accelerate both company’s exciting growth plans and look forward to following their future success.”

Shamash added: “The sale of Amerplast continues an extremely active period at Souter Investments where our focus remains on private equity investing and providing flexible and supportive equity capital to market leading businesses.”

In addition to the investment in NTG and the sale of Amerplast, Souter completed six new investments during 2020, including the spin-out of intelligent data capture technology business LikeZero from PwC and Averna Capital’s acquisition of ClimateCare, a leader in the global carbon markets and climate change sector. Souter also worked with Horizon Capital in support of their acquisition of Sapphire Systems and supported existing portfolio companies as they acquired new businesses, grew organically, or invested in new technology.


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About Souter Investments

Souter Investments is one of the UK’s leading family investment offices specialising in private equity.  Founded in 2006, Souter has invested in over 60 unquoted companies and currently has significant investments in more than 30 businesses, acting either as the lead investor or as a partner for other financial sponsors.

Souter Investments’ portfolio includes Stone Group, a UK based provider of IT equipment, managed services and solutions, including a secure IT asset disposal service accredited by the Environmental Agency which assists organisations in achieving their information security, environmental and sustainability goals; DivideBuy, the fintech platform ranked third in the 2019 Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50; and, Pet Network International, the pet care retail group operating in South Eastern Europe benefiting from market leading positions in Croatia, Romania, Slovenia and Serbia and a new presence in Bulgaria.


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