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H2 EQUITY PARTNERS - A UNIQUE TRACK RECORD WITH OVER 25 YEARS OF SUCCESS
2 FFX
A SECTOR AGNOSTIC INVESTOR PROVIDING HANDS-ON SUPPORT
3 RAM
HANDS-ON SUPPORT: PARTNERING WITH MANAGEMENT TO IMPLEMENT AMBITIOUS PLANS BETTER AND FASTER
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DIFFERENTIATED APPROACH - “ENTREPRENEURS WITH CAPITAL”
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PORTFOLIO

Historic

Our industry experience continues to grow. In this section, you can see some of the companies in which we have invested in since 1991, many of whom are continuing to do very well.

Healthcare 21

Healthcare distribution

Ireland

Fund V

NRS

Healthcare / aids for daily living

United Kingdom

Fund IV

Parenco

Manufacturing / testliner & SC-B paper, The Netherlands

Fund IV

Hancocks

Distribution / confectionary

United Kingdom

Fund IV

Eurocell

Manufacturing / PVC-u profiles

United Kingdom

Fund IV

Halex

Manufacturing / steel hardening & dies, Germany

Fund IV

Ballast Phoenix

Recycling

United Kingdom

Pre Fund IV

DummenOrange

Agriculture / flower and plant breeding, The Netherlands

Fund III

Isero

Distribution / ironmongery

The Netherlands

Fund III

Jet

Manufacturing / roof light & ventilation Germany / EU

Fund III & IV

Event Hall

Services / trade shows

The Netherlands

Fund III

Sator

Distribution / aftermarket car parts, The Netherlands / EU

Fund III

LunchGarden

Leisure / restaurants

Belgium

Fund III

Livit

Healthcare / orthopaedic products, The Netherlands

Pre Fund III

ATAG Heating

Manufacturing / heating systems, The Netherlands / EU

Pre Fund III

Eska Graphic Board

Manufacturing / graphic board

The Netherlands

Pre Fund III

Meyn

Manufacturing / poultry processing, The Netherlands

Pre Fund III

Whitecroft

Manufacturing / lighting fixtures, The Netherlands

Pre Fund III

NRS

After being established in 1947, NRS is the UK’s market-leading provider of products and services to support independent living at home for the elderly and disabled. H2 Equity Partners acquired NRS in December 2014 when it had sales of £133 million and approximately 800 employees.

NRS plays an integral role within the UK healthcare system by aiming to improve the quality of life and independence of its end users. NRS designs its own assistive living aid products as well supplying third-party products. The assistive living aid products cover a wide range of functions including toileting, bathing, beds, mattresses and hoists. These products allow the elderly or disabled to remain at home rather than moving to care homes or hospitals, or return home from hospital more quickly after treatment and thereby increasing the number of available hospital beds for the NHS.

The majority of NRS’s revenue is from the provision of outsourced integrated community equipment services (ICES) on behalf of Local Authorities to individuals eligible for state aid. The contracts typically last for five to seven years. NRS is responsible for sourcing, purchasing, delivering, installing, maintaining, collecting and recycling products. Contract providers require specialist knowledge to deliver the service given the complexity and high standards required to deliver the service.

NRS is also a multi-channel distributor of own-label and branded daily living aids and products through its Product Sales division. The range of over 3,000 products is sold primarily to (i) individuals ineligible for state aid through NRS’s website (www.nrs-uk.co.uk), online portals and via partnerships; (ii) Local Authorities who have retained their ICES service in-house; (iii) professional users such as physiotherapists; and (iv) other resellers or distributors. This provides a strong platform for sales into the private sector.

The company also provides wheelchair services under a number of contracts to Local Authorities or the NHS, encompassing wheelchair procurement, delivery, collection, maintenance, repair, and reconditioning.

H2 and management worked together to deliver the growth plan with further contract wins, increasing the range of services provided by NRS to Local Authorities including provision of an end-to-end service including clinical assessment. There was also significant investment in new product development and IT capability, supporting stronger operational delivery and customer service levels. The fast-growing Product Sales division, mainly delivered via online channels and also with the acquisition of CCN, strengthened NRS’ reach into the private pay and export market. H2 successfully exited NRS in February 2019 to Graphite Capital with sales of approximately £200 million.

HANCOCKS: SUCCESFUL MANAGEMENT SUCCESSION AND BUY & BUILD

The Opportunity
Family owned Hancocks appointed corporate finance advisors to help it sell the company in 2012. There was no succession within the family to continue to manage and build the business and the decision to sell 100% of the business had been taken. H2 Equity Partners was introduced to the opportunity and during the first meeting with management immediately recognised the potential of the business to further develop and grow both sales and profitability.

Hancocks, headquartered in Loughborough, was the UK’s largest confectionary specialist, selling confectionary and chocolate via a network of cash-and-carry depots, direct to retailers and had just started selling online. Annual revenues amounted to ca. £110 million. Being a true specialist, the company managed over 4,000 SKUs and combined own brand ranges with leading A-brands and servicing various routes-to-market. Hancocks was led by an excellent CEO, but he had a clear desire to retire within a few years and the company had not invested in building a strong 2nd tier management team. Shareholder and management succession were key issues that needed to be addressed.

H2’s Investment and Approach
In November 2012 H2 acquired Hancocks within a short period of being introduced to the company. H2’s investment thesis for Hancocks focused on covering all routes-to-market, increasing the share of own branded product (through own product development and packaging design), various operational improvements and managing the CEO succession over time. We had identified pricing as a major opportunity for profit enhancement and within three months had improved the EBITDA run-rate by ca. £1 million on the back of specific pricing actions. During our investment period Hancocks executed three add-on acquisitions, adding online capabilities and a delivered solution. Revenues grew to ca. £160 million per year and EBITDA doubled. A well planned and executed management succession plan was implemented and allowed the original CEO to first move to a non-executive chairman position and later fully retire upon our exit of the business.

The Outcome
Hancocks achieved a market-leading position in the UK confectionary industry and in 2017 was acquired by a trade buyer with obvious sales and procurement synergies. The new management team remains with the business and the combined group is set for continued growth.

EUROCELL: FROM UNLOVED CORPORATE ORPHAN TO STOCK MARKET DARLING

The Opportunity
H2 Equity Partners was approached during the summer of 2013 to evaluate an investment opportunity to acquire Eurocell from its Belgian listed parent company. The company had been designated “non-core” by its owner and was its only material UK subsidiary active in the building materials market.

At the time, Eurocell was one of the leading PVCu profile and roofline product manufacturing and distribution businesses in the UK generating sales of ca.£150 million per annum. It’s main manufacturing sites were based in Alfreton (Derbyshire – United Kingdom) and the company had a network of 120 branches throughout the UK. Profitability levels were decent, but the lack of focus from the parent company and the ongoing divestment process meant that management was restricted in its ability to aggressively grow and improve the business.

H2’s Investment and Approach
H2 acquired Eurocell in September 2013 and immediately started to develop an ambitious growth and profit improvement plan in conjunction with management. Eight key strategic initiatives were identified with the aim to double EBITDA over the next few years. Each strategic initiative was led by a Eurocell manager and a H2 team member. The quality improvement teams and renewed management focus resulted in a quick implementation of the plans; and virtually all strategic initiatives delivered results ahead of the planned timing and EBITDA impact. Within 18 months the business had managed to more than double its EBITDA and significantly grow its sales.

The Outcome
Eurocell PLC is now listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange and has continued to deliver attractive returns for its stock market shareholders. H2 Equity Partners sold its last remaining shareholding in Eurocell in March 2017 and has generated strong returns on its investment while creating a strong, growing, and sustainably profitable business in its segment.