Development Bank backs MBO for Wrexham textiles firm

Senior Investment Executive
Buying a business
Sustainability in business

A North Wales textiles firm has undergone a management buy-out backed by a seven-figure sum from the Development Bank of Wales.

Based on Wrexham Industrial Estate, Riva UK was first established in 1993 by Rita Bird who was then joined by her son Carl. They now employ over 50 people and supply custom engineered textile solutions to a variety of blue chip companies. This includes the automotive, emergency services, aerospace and industrial sectors.

Joe Quinlan has served as operations manager for Riva since 2017. He will take over from outgoing Managing Director, Carl Bird, who has agreed to stay on as a consultant.

Joe said: “Carl and Rita Bird have worked tirelessly to build the business to where it is today, and I’m looking forward to taking the mantle and building on the success they have made to date.

"We are supported by a very loyal and hardworking team and I’m excited about the opportunity this presents.

“I’m extremely grateful to the Development Bank of Wales for their support in getting the MBO completed. Their insight and expertise proved essential in making this happen for me and the team at Riva. I’d never been through a transaction like this before so I’m grateful for their input and the help from Chris Thomas at SME Finance Partners who was by my side every step of the way.”

Senior Investment Executive Scott Hughes and Investment Executive Chris Hayward structured the investment together.

Scott said: “We’re very pleased to support Joe with the acquisition of Riva. Joe has been a key part of the business success over the last few years. This business delivers unrivalled product quality and has identified new opportunities which will provide further growth and create additional jobs moving forward.”

Funding for the buyout came from the Wales Management Succession Fund and the Wales Flexible Investment Fund. Geldards acted for the Development Bank of Wales in finalising the deal, with Betsan Powell and Zoe Fletcher of JCP Solicitors and Chris Thomas of SME Finance Partners acting for the buyer.

Chris Thomas, co-founder of SME Finance Partners added” “I’m delighted for Joe and pleased to have helped him realise his ambition of buying the business that he’s worked so hard in for the last six years.  This was a good outcome for all stakeholders, allowing Joe to drive the business forward and enabling Rita & Carl to enjoy more time with their family.  The Development Bank were great to deal with as Scott and Chris both put a huge amount of effort into successfully completing this deal”.

The Wales Management Succession Fund is available to managers or management teams who want to own and run their own business. Financed by the Welsh Government and the Clwyd Pension Fund, the fund provides loans and equity investments between £500,000 and £3 million with terms ranging between one and seven years.

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