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Print and packaging specialist in £3.5m MBO

Burton-upon-Trent-based print and packaging company Darley has undergone a £3.5m management buyout from parent company Adare.

The deal, backed by GE Commercial Finance, gives control to a six-strong management team led by joint managing directors John Alton and Stewart Hughes.

Founded in 1827, Darley claims to have been the UK’s first company to produce labels for beer bottles and now supplies worldwide to all the major breweries, including Coors, Carlsberg and Bulmers. It also supplies packaging for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, with clients such as Johnson and Johnson, Boots, and Axis-Shield, and is a leading supplier of patient information leaflets.

The company employs 75 and has an annual turnover of around £11m. GE Commercial Finance has provided a £3.5m debt and equity package to support management in the buyout.

Under the structure of the deal, Alton and Hughes and their team – finance director Amanda Barlow, sales director Stephen Blake, purchasing director Roy Cotton and production director Mick Hobster – will take a majority equity stake in the business, with Clearwater Corporate Finance taking a minority stake. Darley is one of a number of non-core businesses which Huddersfield-based Adare has recently disposed of, including Kall Kwik, Prontaprint and CJ Fallon.

John Alton says: “This is a very positive step for Darley and will enable us to build on our position as a leading packaging solutions provider and take the company forward to a new phase of its development. This will be achieved by expanding our portfolio of products and services, delivering a superior service, and ensuring that the business remains closely aligned to the evolving market.”