A Birmingham-based manufacturer of vehicle registration plates has received almost £10million of investment from Finance Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, NatWest Corporate and Commercial Finance and RBS Invoice Finance.
Hills Numberplates will use the funding to support its continued growth following the company’s recent acquisition of Faab Fabricauto, France’s leading number plate manufacturer. The acquisition is enabling the company to develop further geographical markets and maximise production efficiency. Hills Group is the world’s third largest number plate manufacturer and has more than 80 years’ experience providing products to national and international clients including Honda, Fiat, Ford and Toyota. The group currently employs more than 200 staff and produces more than nineteen million plates each year.
Richard Taffinder, Managing Director of Hills Numberplates, said:
“We are a business built on excellent customer service and a strong vision and this funding will help us to accelerate our growth. By completing our acquisition of Faab Fabricauto and having the funds to invest in our products, we can now expand our offering for our customers and create a greater international footprint.”
Finance Birmingham currently has £600m of funds under management and invested in Hills via the £56m Mezzanine Fund – which is open to SMEs across the West Midlands and is supported by the Regional Growth Fund and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership – as well as Birmingham City Council’s Loan Fund.
Stephen Murray, Investment Director at Finance Birmingham, said:
“Hills Numberplates is firmly positioned as a major world number plate manufacturer. We have been impressed with the management team and their growth strategy and the acquisition, alongside investment, in its staff base forms an integral part of that future. We are proud to be working in partnership with such a prestigious manufacturer and look forward to seeing it realise its future potential.”
Ken Feast, Business Development Manager at RBS Invoice Finance, said:
“This investment reflects the mission of RBS and NatWest for providing large scale solutions for thriving businesses looking to grow and take that next step up. Manufacturing is the key to unlocking our long-term economic success in the UK and we have worked hard to build an expertise in this sector. Hills is a true example of a hungry business that is making a significant contribution to the automotive industry. As demand increases for its products it will now be able to expand, evolve and continue to deliver.”
Julie Mole, Business Development Manager at NatWest Corporate and Commercial Finance, said:
“We have built a strong relationship with Hills over a number of years and are committed to investing in and supporting its future. The backing doesn’t just stop with the finances as we, alongside RBS Invoice Finance, utilise our knowledge in the sector to advise businesses on the best strategies to accelerate their growth. Hills is no exception and we look forward to seeing it continue on its upward trajectory.”
Freeths LLP, Mazars, Irwin Mitchell and Pinsent Masons all advised on the deal.