The family-run Stockton shipping container company is now set to put ambitious growth plans into action
The Teesside Company of the Year has secured a minority investment from private equity firm LDC to help steer the firm through the next stage of its growth.
Family-run Cleveland Containers, based in Stockton, won the main prize at the final heat of the North East Business Awards last Thursday, having grown business from first year turnover of £1.1m in 2011 to £60m this year.
Now the company – which supplies hundreds of shipping containers every week as well as providing modification services and site accommodations – has sealed the minority investment from leading mid-market private equity firm LDC, to support the next stage of its growth journey.
Read more: Winners reveal pride after final heat of North East Business Awards
LDC is backing the existing management team to support their growth plan and further enhance Cleveland Containers’ sales and rental offering, while also creating career opportunities for new and existing employees.
Led by husband and wife team Johnathan and Jane Bulmer, the firm currently supplies more than 4,500 customers including national housebuilders, construction firms, high street retailers and individuals. With the new and used containers ranging in size from 6ft to 45ft, they can be supplied for a number of uses from storage units to office space, street food vendors and site canteens.
Container conversions have also seen them put to use at food and drink venue Stack Seaburn in Sunderland, as well as containers for theme park resorts Gulliver’s Valley in Rotherham and the Peak District’s Gulliver’s Kingdom.
The business has a network of 15 depots and currently delivers more than 400 containers a week to its customers across the UK. It currently employs more than 65 people and is already predicting turnover of £80m for next year.
To support the next stage of its journey, Andrew Thompson, former managing director of portable site accommodation and storage container rental provider Mobile Mini, has been appointed as chief operating officer. Jon Hurford, former finance director at O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions, has also joined the business as chief financial officer and Richard Tredwin, former CEO of SRL Traffic Systems, has been appointed as non-executive chair.
The undisclosed investment was led by Gareth Marshall, partner and head of LDC in the North East, and investment manager Naomi McDiarmid, who will also join the board.
Mr Bulmer, managing director of Cleveland Containers, said: “I’m really proud of everyone at Cleveland Containers. The team has worked tirelessly to cement our market leading position and with LDC’s support we are now in a position to strengthen our business further and welcome more people into our fun and fast-growing business.
“As soon as we met Gareth and Naomi at LDC, we knew that LDC was the right partner to support our growth plans. They have helped to bring in new experience and perspectives to our business, and it’s a real benefit that their Newcastle office is only a short distance away. We feel well supported to continue our growth from our base here in the North East.”
Gareth Marshall, partner and head of LDC in the North East, said: “Johnathan, Jane and the team at Cleveland Containers’ commitment to customer service has been key to their growth. As a result of their efforts and creativity, we’re seeing an increasingly innovative use of containers across the UK. We’re looking forward to helping the business to bring the right container, site accommodation and modular turnkey solutions to even more customers.”
Cleveland Containers was advised by UNW and Womble Bond Dickinson. LDC was advised by Grant Thornton, Weightmans and Fairgrove Partners.