Published On: Wed, Apr 19th, 2017

Polyframe Group acquired and merged with the Customade Group

Polyframe Group (Polyframe) has announced that it has successfully acquired and merged with Customade Group (Customade), supported by further investment from Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP (Cairngorm Capital). With revenues in excess of £100 million, the enlarged group, will trade as Customade and now has a complete and comprehensive product range across aluminium windows, composite entry doors and PVC-U products. Established in 1980, Customade is a specialist manufacturer of high-quality aluminium and PVC-U windows, doors and conservatory roof products. Best known for its proprietary and market-leading REAL, Atlas and Fineline aluminium brands, the company operates from 100,000 ft2, state-of-the-art facilities near Gloucester, employing 320 people. In 2016 it achieved turnover in excess of £35 million.

During 2016, Polyframe acquired the WB Group composite entry door business in Birtley and a 50,000 ft2 window manufacturing facility in Livingston from Stevenswood. Accordingly, this merger with Customade continues the firm’s strategy to develop the UK’s leading trade fabricator of PVC-U, aluminium and composite windows and doors, addressing all trade customers’ fenestration needs. Customade’s market-leading and proprietary products complement, expand and differentiate Polyframe’s product offering, particularly in the rapidly growing aluminium sector. The group now operates nationwide, with almost 900 employees across 10 manufacturing facilities extending from Scotland to the South West.

The combined industry expertise of the newly enlarged management team, together with support from specialist investment firm Cairngorm Capital, increases the scope for further innovation, growth and service improvements; optimises manufacturing capability and broadens Polyframe’s industry-leading product range, to provide an unmatched customer offering. John Lightowlers, Customade’s MD becomes Group MD of the enlarged firm and continues to hold a significant ownership stake. With over twenty years’ leadership experience in the windows and doors market and having led Customade for the past 12 years, John and his fellow Customade shareholders, Nick Gibbons, Gareth Thomas and John Adams, have been instrumental in Customade’s growth and success. John will be supported initially by Jon Gatfield, Polyframe’s interim MD, who will transition to other Cairngorm Capital operational roles in the near future, and Lance Gillett, Polyframe’s Group Finance Director, who joined Polyframe from Masco UK Window Group in 2016. David Moore, Non-Executive Director of Polyframe and former CEO of Ultraframe, will become Chairman of the enlarged group.

Jon Gatfield, Polyframe’s interim MD, said: “Both Polyframe and Customade pride themselves on offering customers extensive product ranges, along with extremely high levels of reliability, flexibility and customer service. Since July 2016, we at Polyframe have invested heavily to develop a best-in-class offering for our trade customers, strengthen our manufacturing operations and extend our geographic presence. The merger with Customade will accelerate these initiatives and secure our position as the largest trade fabricator of windows and doors to the UK installer market.”

John Naylor-Leyland of Cairngorm Capital commented: “We are delighted to invest further in Polyframe to facilitate this proprietary, off-market merger between Polyframe and Customade and to support the combined group’s growth plans. Customade has an outstanding reputation in the industry for supplying high-quality branded aluminium products, which together with the excellence of its operational capabilities and the calibre of its staff, make it the natural partner to enhance Polyframe’s leading PVC-U window and composite door range.“ John Lightowlers, Group Managing Director of the enlarged group added: “This is the perfect partnership for two businesses with shared values, a market-leading suite of products and a commitment to the highest standards of customer service. There are great opportunities across the sector and as an enlarged group we look forward to meeting all trade customers’ product needs.”