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Close collects seashells

Nasdaq-listed Zoltek Companies Inc. in mid-November sold its SP advanced composite materials manufacturing operation SP to a GBP50 million management buyout led by Close Brothers Private Equity (CBPE).

SP, which currently turns over more than GBP40 million per annum, is a leading manufacturer of composite materials both for racing yachts and, less glamorously but perhaps more importantly, for wind farm turbines.

While it has a foothold in the environment friendly’ arena, SP is evidently considering all options: the company aims to secure a premier position in the wind turbine market but is also targeting the specialist automotive field, with contracts to supply materials for the construction of two luxury sports cars already in place.

CBPE committed GBP21.5 million to the buyout, which was supported by term and working capital facilities from Lloyds TSB.