Leeds-based Fenton Packaging Solutions has been sold by way of a Management Buyout (MBO). Ownership of the company has passed from former Managing Director Bob Clarke to: Sales Development Director Chris Warren; Supply Chain Director David Wilson; and Finance Director Sharon Dakin – who are now joint managing partners.
“Over the last 18 months, Bob Clarke had very much stepped back from the day to day running of the company with a view to considering a number of options regarding the sale of the business and to plan for his semi-retirement,” says Finance Director Sharon Dakin. “After considering a number of selling options, the MBO option was viewed by Bob as the preferred route for his exit from the company.
“As an MBO team we are very pleased to assume responsibility and ownership of the company as we feel that our continued involvement provides both a balanced and stable management platform to support the business moving forward. We are also a known, committed and visible management team and as such have been able to positively contribute to the improvement of the company over the last two years.”
Investing in people and systems for growth
Last year, the company relocated to a 65,000sq.ft. site at Kinetic 45 in Newmarket Lane, Leeds, and rebranded as Fenton Packaging Solutions. The company had invested over £1 million to streamline its operations and put a new fleet on the road. A year later, the company has continued to expand and is now investing in the future.
“We recognise that the most important element of any business is its people,” says David Wilson. “We currently employ just over 40 full-time staff members and we are now introducing a graduate programme. We have begun the process of becoming an accredited Investors in People organisation and are actively investing in the latest and most advanced software systems to better manage the business and that will attract young talent, which will help secure Fenton Packaging Solutions’ future.”
Sustainable packaging solutions
For many years, Fenton Packaging Solutions has offered the most sustainable packaging available, but beyond that the business has pursued a number of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. The new fleet of trucks meets all government standards in terms of emissions, and electric charging points have been installed at the new premises. In another move, the whole operation is now paperless. Around half of the company’s product lines are made from highly-recyclable metal and it is actively migrating customers to PCR Plastic Containers which contain a minimum of 30% recycled content.
“We are putting a lot of emphasis on bag-in-box packaging solutions,” says Chris Warren. “The weight- and space-saving is an obvious advantage, but the fact that the whole packaging can be recycled where facilities exist is also hugely important.
“We continue to offer a consultative approach and, through innovation, help to steer our customers towards using the most sustainable packaging options for their businesses. Our latest investment in systems not only improves the customer experience, but also delivers major gains in carbon footprint reduction for our business and our clients.
“As we further invest in innovation and more sustainable packaging solutions, we are also planning to expand into international markets.”
The next 75 years…
“Fenton Packaging Solutions began over 75 years ago, so together, the MBO, relocation, and rebranding – coupled with major investment in systems and people – represents a very exciting step in our long history,” concludes Sharon Dakin. “As Managing Partners, David, Chris and I are excited about the future and feel sincerely that the MBO solution is the best possible outcome for the business in the long-term.”