Financial News

  • 26 January 2014, 22:16

'Reshoring' Firm Hailed By PM Plots Float

One of the companies hailed by David Cameron for bringing manufacturing jobs back to the UK is drawing up plans for a stock market listing valuing it at hundreds of millions of pounds.

Sky News understands that Volution Group, a manufacturer of ventilation products, is likely to announce plans for a flotation within weeks.

Its owner, the private equity firm Towerbrook Capital Partners, has appointed the investment banks Canaccord Genuity and Liberum to handle the flotation.

Vent-Axia, a British-based subsidiary of Volution, has shifted some of its production capability from China to Crawley, Sussex, and was one of several companies cited by Downing Street as participating in the growing trend of reshoring.

Mr Cameron visited Vent Axia's Crawley factory on Thursday, ahead of his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In his speech to the conference, the Prime Minister said Britain needed to seize the opportunity to persuade companies to relocate manufacturing and production jobs to the UK.

"To win these jobs we need to understand what is driving these changes. Part of the story is about rising costs in the emerging markets, a natural consequence of these economies developing and their people becoming wealthier.

"At the same time, there are a number of factors pulling companies back home.

"Some companies are choosing to locate production nearer to their consumer markets in the West.

By shortening their supply chains, they can develop new products and react more quickly to changing consumer demand. More customisation. More personalisation. Better customer service."

Mr Cameron said the re-emergence of cheap energy in the US through the shale gas boom was a key factor in reshoring there.

"I want Britain to seize these opportunities. I think there is a chance for Britain to become the Re-Shore Nation," he said.

Towerbrook, which is best-known for its former ownership of Jimmy Choo, the upmarket shoe-maker, declined to comment on its plans to list Volution.

However, insiders said the buyout firm had decided to press the button on a flotation because of the growth potential arising from tighter building regulations, which are forcing landlords to upgrade ventilation equipment.

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