Merseyside manufacturer ChargePoint Technology, which supplies precision containment valves to some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and chemicals businesses, is set to create around 30 new jobs following investment from Enterprise Ventures.
The deal includes the first investment by The North West Fund for Mezzanine, which has provided funding to enable ChargePoint to recruit additional skilled staff and develop new high tech products for export. Enterprise Ventures has also invested using the Coalfields Funds which it manages on behalf of the UK Government, Communities and Local Government.
ChargePoint’s precision split butterfly containment valves provide an accurate and safe means of transferring powders from one vessel to another during the production process. By minimising dust emissions, they are specified to prevent cross-contamination and protect operators from exposure to potent substances.
Originally developed in 1996 in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline, ChargePoint valves are now used by almost every major pharmaceutical manufacturer and increasingly in other industries such as chemicals, food and drinks manufacture and consumer goods. Customers include GSK, Pfizer, Henkel, DuPont, INEOS, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Sanofi Aventis.
ChargePoint employs 45 staff at its manufacturing facility in Speke, Liverpool. It also operates in France, the US and Hong Kong. The company exports approximately 80% of its products and won the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2012.
Constantine Biller, Industrials partner at Clearwater Corporate Finance, commented: “ChargePoint is a great example of a UK manufacturing business with huge export opportunities, having a highly technical range of products with applications in high-purity processes in the pharmaceuticals, chemicals and food manufacturing industries around the world. This transaction will allow the company to grow and develop its global sales activities, fully leverage its UK production operations and reinforce its service operations to support the growing international demand.
This is reflective of the opportunities available to the UK flow products market overall. Where companies are producing essential flow control components used in critical production processes they are integral to their customers’ operations. UK companies focused on engineering excellence and developing best-of-breed flow products for demanding industrial applications are therefore ideally placed to maximise their returns from the global growth opportunities available to them.”
Chris Eccles, Managing Director of ChargePoint, said: “ChargePoint sets the standard for containment valve technology within the pharmaceutical industry and our products are specified around the world. We have identified opportunities to increase sales in emerging markets, in particular the Far East, and to expand further into other sectors, including food and drink manufacture. This investment will allow us to pursue our growth plans, which includes the creation of 30 skilled jobs in the next three years, more than half of them on Merseyside.”
The North West Fund for Mezzanine, created earlier this year, provides investment for established businesses seeking finance for growth. It is part of the £155m North West Fund, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
Stewart McCombe of Enterprise Ventures, which manages The North West Fund for Mezzanine, said: “The North West Fund for Mezzanine is ideal for successful companies like ChargePoint, which have strong growth potential but may struggle to access investment in the current climate. This investment will allow ChargePoint to develop new products to take advantage of opportunities in emerging markets, and increase both sales and after-sales revenue by expanding its technical and support network.”
Linder Myers Solicitors also advised the management team, with Grant Thornton providing tax advice. Ward Hadaway provided legal advice to Enterprise Ventures while Langtons Corporate Finance in Liverpool carried out due diligence.