Caradon Plumbing

Manufacturer and supplier of plumbing and heating products


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Montagu led the Institutional Buyout of the plumbing division of Caradon plc in a transaction with total funding of £496 million (€794 million).

The business, which retained the Caradon name, was one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of plumbing and heating products in the UK, employing some 3,900 staff across ten manufacturing sites when acquired. It had a market leading position in its four core product areas of showers, bathrooms, boilers and radiators. Its brands included Mira and Rada in showers, Twyford and Doulton in bathrooms and Ideal Boilers and Stelrad Radiators. It was primarily a UK business but had pan-European operations in the radiator market.

Elements of the Caradon Plumbing business dated back to the early twentieth century. The businesses were brought together during the 1980's as a result of the Management Buyout of Reed Building Products to form Caradon and the acquisition of Carnaud-Metal Box in 1989.

Caradon conducted a tightly controlled competitive auction for the business, attracting interest from both potential trade and financial bidders. Montagu's success was a result of extensive sector research over a sustained period, which included contact with a number of key industry personnel. This knowledge, combined with its expertise in financial structuring and reputation for delivery, provided Montagu with the edge to win the auction.

In July 2001, Mira Showers was sold for £301 million (€481 million) to US-based Kohler Corporation. This disposal followed the earlier sale of Twyford Bathrooms to Sanitec plc for £84 million, and completed the programme of disposals planned at the time of acquisition. At this point, Montagu recouped its entire investment. Following a re-financing, which returned over half the original investment, the remaining boilers and radiators businesses were sold to Warburg Pincus in 2005.

Deal details

Deal type: Institutional Buyout Investment Year: 2000 Country: United Kingdom Status: Realised Value: £496 million Industry Sector: Industrials