In conversation with

Mark Briscoe, co-investor and Managing Director of Majestic Polymers and DSA Chemicals

In November 2017, Panoramic backed chemical industry experts and co-investors Mark Briscoe and Peter Weaver in the Management Buy-in of Yorkshire based specialty chemicals businesses Majestic Polymers and DSA Chemicals. Six months in, Managing Director Mark gives insight into the transaction and his ambitions for the businesses.

How did the Majestic and DSA opportunity arise?

I had been looking for an opportunity to get back invested and involved with a chemical manufacturing and development business for some time. My corporate finance advisor came across an interesting chemicals business being marketed as a trade sale in Doncaster. He believed the business would be a good match for me, and likewise me for the business. A meeting with the owner quickly established interest for both parties and we set about putting a Buy-In proposal together.

What attracted you to the businesses?

A well established and diversified customer base with a wide geographical spread. Further, a varied product mix and large and successful competitors – demonstrating that the end markets are attractive. Importantly, I sensed that the business had good people and there were clear opportunities to grow and develop the business from what it is today.

What options for funding the acquisition did you consider?

I considered a full range of funding types and combinations including bank, mezzanine, vendor and private equity finance.

Why did you choose Panoramic as your PE sponsor?

The deal type and size matched well with Panoramic’s stated investment criteria including cheque size, business type, management team ambition and transaction type. Panoramic were responsive with Partner led involvement from David Wilson and the wider Investment team from the get-go, which continued from initial introduction through to deal completion and now into Board and business support. Panoramic were pragmatic and straightforward to work with (and continue to be today), demonstrated flexibility in the finalised deal structure and importantly were experienced in this type of transaction – so were willing and able to apply a proven and rigorous approach to getting the deal done. At the same time this ensured that my risk from doing this type of transaction for the first time was best managed.

What challenges have you encountered, during the process and since?

Agreeing heads of terms with the vendor was the easy bit. Getting to an agreement which satisfied all parties was harder and mentally tough at times. The process from start to finish took longer than expected and was heavily involved. At completion there is the adrenalin rush that the deal is done. It quickly goes though as you now must make the plan work. You get hit by questions from all directions resulting from the ownership change, so there is no time for recovery post deal completion!

What support has Panoramic given you?

During the process Panoramic provided clear and sensible advice, along with excellent options for necessary due diligence work streams. Post completion there is continued and proactive support from the team in the form of advice on various matters which have needed to be dealt with since purchase
and as we look to integrate the businesses. It gives me confidence that I can contact the team at any time.

What are your long-term ambitions for the business?

Building on the businesses current strengths, my ambition is to establish ourselves as the “go-to” European (and eventually global) supplier partner in our chosen sector areas of expertise. I want Majestic and DSA to be the sector leader in service and ease with which to do business, especially in R&D as we embrace our customers’ demands to deliver even greater environmentally sustainable product and system solutions.

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