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Encore announces successful exit from UK Heating Group

Encore Capital, the London based investment firm focused on backing entrepreneurial growth businesses, has completed the sale of portfolio company UK Heating Group (UKHG) to Irsap Group (“Irsap”), a leading Italian manufacturer of heating and air-conditioning products.

Established in 1998, UKHG is the UK's largest independent distributor of design led radiators to the plumbing and heating merchant market. UKHG is the owner of the “The Radiator Company”, “Supplies4Heat”, and “Clyde” brands each of them addressing a distinct and fast growing part of the market.

Encore invested in the business in 2006, supporting the MBO by Marcus Orchard and his team. Despite the tumultuous times in the building products sector following the recession of 2007-08, management succeeded in growing the business organically, as well as through acquisition and establishing an enviable position as the preferred supplier of design led radiators to the UK’s merchant market.

For Irsap this is a strategic acquisition as it did not have a foothold in the UK and Irish markets and this acquisition provides them a market leading position on which to invest and grow the Irsap brand and product portfolio.

UKHG Managing Director Marcus Orchard said: "We are delighted to have become part of such a forward thinking and well respected group. Irsap is now Italy’s leading manufacturer of designer radiators and has over 50 years of experience and expertise in this sector. The combination of our experience and longstanding history in the UK radiator market and Irsap’s manufacturing strengths, means that our customers can be confident of continued high levels of service and product excellence. Becoming part of the Irsap family will help us develop our range of product lines even further and expand into new markets.’’

Marco Rossi, Business Development Director for Irsap Group, commented “UK Heating Group holds an impressive position in the UK market with clear, well defined strategies for its brands and core values focused on delivering excellent service, quality and value for their customers. UKHG fits perfectly with the ethos of the Irsap Group and we are looking forward to continuing to deliver those values and to developing the range of Irsap products within the UK market”

Commenting on the transaction, Shirin Gandhi, Partner at Encore, added: “When we invested in UKHG we immediately recognised the opportunity presented and managed to conclude a transaction extremely quickly. The management team were seeking a partner capable of transitioning them away from an owner-managed business to one that could scale and maintain a leading position in a fast growing market. Our track record of success in similar situations gave them comfort that Encore was the right partner for them. Being a business closely associated with the construction sector and specifically housing transactions, it was the quality of the management team and our ability to take a long term view on our investments that led to the business successfully navigating the recent recession. We are delighted the business will continue to have the opportunity to grow and exploit greater opportunities as part of the Irsap Group.”

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