Signed, sealed and delivered – Great Northern Envelopes in MBO


Great Northern Envelopes (GNE) – one of the leading UK suppliers of envelopes to major financial institutions and direct mail operations has undergone a management buy-out. The company, previously part of the Adare Group, is recognised as the ‘driving force’ in envelope supply and solution provision.

The MBO team was led by managing director, Warren Shermer (39). All the GNE employees have been involved in developing the business over recent years, and creating a unique culture that focuses on flexibility, service and ultimately providing a healthy and positive customer experience.

Warren Shermer said the deal would enable GNE to capitalise on further market opportunities. “GNE is a very successful business and will continue to evolve its unique market proposition. All at GNE are proud of the level of expertise we have gained over 12 years of manufacturing envelopes and our future investment plans will enable us to further our offering to the customer.

“Our ability to integrate products and services to our clients’ systems and needs is unsurpassed in the UK market place. Our customers’ core objectives will continue to be an integral driver of our own future strategy.”

Equity funding came from YFM Private Equity (YFM) and Matrix Private Equity investing funds from the Baring English Growth Fund. Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate and Structured Finance Manchester, RBS Commercial Services and Lombard provided banking facilities for both the acquisition and to fund future development opportunities. Advising the MBO team was Clearwater Corporate Finance.

Located in 77,000 sq ft premises on the Treefield Industrial Estate in Leeds, GNE has a turnover of over £23 million (doubling since 2000) and employs 123 dedicated and professional team members.

David Gee of YFM praised management’s achievements saying that; “since the team started working together some years ago, the business performance has gone from strength to strength giving us great confidence that they can take the company forward as forecast.”

Mike Reeves, partner with Clearwater Corporate Finance said the MBO team has a proven ability to turn investment into strong returns in a short payback period. “This is a strong and capable management team and an excellent business. GNE is already a financially strong organisation and the company’s strategy of providing supply chain management to its customers ensures it is adding value.”

Warren Shermer added; “GNE is recognised in the market for its speed of response, customer focus/approach and the flexibility of its resources. We are delighted to be working with YFM and RBS. This transaction is supported with fresh investment in IT, machinery, but most importantly people, and will enable GNE to maintain their market leading quality of service.”

Gareth Waters of Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate and Structured Finance said; “GNE has an excellent management team and with a proven track record, we are delighted to be able to welcome GNE as a new customer to the RBS and provide a one stop shop of facilities from within the RBS Group”.