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Close Brothers walks out of Amber Doors

Close Brothers Private Equity has made a profitable return on its investment in Barnsley-based Amber Doors. The manufacturer of doors for industrial, security and fire safety has been sold to Swedish manufacturing group Cardo for around GBP15 million.

Close Brothers acquired a 40 per cent stake in the business in 1998 in a capital release deal for the founder shareholders worth around GBP4 million. Amber Doors’ specialist manufacturing and support services profile was particularly attractive to Close Brothers, which focuses on these sectors.

Founded 19 years ago by managing director John Hamilton and Ernst Crapper, Amber Doors has a turnover of around E25.9 million and expects profit of around GBP3 million this year. Neil Murphy of Close Brothers said: “Amber Doors has always been an innovative developer of market leading products as well as running a tight manufacturing facility.”

The acquisition is part of Cardo Door’s strategy to enhance its presence in the UK market. Cardo’s president and CEO Kjell Svensson said: “At the same time as we are strengthening our position in the British market for industrial doors, we are gaining access to a broad range of special products, including fire and security doors, and thereby reaching new, attractive market segments.”

Close Brothers is currently raising funds for its CBPE Fund VI. The fund launched at the end of 2000 with a target of between GBP200 million and GBP250 million and a final close is imminent.