DEALS: Vectair

Vectair logo


  • Sector: Industrials and Manufacturing
  • Deal type: Management Buy-Outs
  • Deal size: Undisclosed
  • Year: 2020
  • Lead partner: Simon Davies


Richard Boyden Simon Davies

Spectrum advises the shareholders of Vectair Systems on a secondary buyout supported by a consortium of US Funds, providing an exit for previous investors, Mobeus.

Spectrum Corporate Finance has successfully advised Mobeus and the shareholders of portfolio company Vectair Systems (Vectair), a leading innovator, manufacturer and supplier of aircare & hygiene products, on the buy-out of Mobeus and the new investment into the business from a consortium of US investment funds, including Oxbow Industries and Arcspring.

With European Head Offices in Hampshire, US Headquarters in Memphis, TN, and manufacturing facilities around the world, Vectair supplies over 130 countries and counts a number of blue chip facilities management and hygiene companies amongst its clients.

Mobeus first invested in Vectair in 2006 and has worked alongside the management team to grow the business into a well-respected, international business, positioning it for further investment from US-based backers. Vectair has grown revenues by more than four and a half times, notably driven by North American sales growth, and profits have increased eightfold over the period.

In advance of progressing with the overall secondary buy-out process, Spectrum were first engaged by the shareholders to conduct a strategic review of the business, advising how to optimally position the company for future investment. The opportunity was then marketed to both trade buyers and private equity investors in the UK and overseas.

The shareholders were looking for an investor who could continue to accelerate the ambitious international growth strategy of the management team whilst allowing the business founder and CEO, Paul Wonnacott, to step back from the business; he continues in the role of Executive Chairman, with Peter Lipke recruited as the new Global CEO.

Potential investors were excited by the pipeline of innovative new products, sustainability focus and international market opportunity, and impressed by the consistent trading performance and resilience during the challenging backdrop of the global pandemic. Multiple offers were received prior to entering into exclusivity with the consortium of US investment funds, with debt provided by NorthStar Capital.

The exit generates an 8.3x multiple of cash return over original cost for the Mobeus VCTs, after almost 15 years holding the investment. Spectrum worked alongside White & Black Legal, Freeths Solicitors, Parisi Tax and Dorsey & Whitney (US) to close this transaction.

Paul Wonnacott, Executive Chairman at Vectair Systems commented, “The departure of Mobeus was the perfect opportunity for a new consortium of US investors to take not only Mobeus’ share, but increase their investment alongside existing management – further backing their confidence in Vectair Systems.”

Clive Austin, Mobeus Partner, commented, “We are delighted that during our investment term, Vectair has become an established platform, set to achieve accelerated growth hand-in-hand with its new partners. Mobeus’s investment approach places great importance on patience and long-term partnership; it’s great to see that strategy pay off for everyone, with Vectair having found fantastic new partners and investors and the Mobeus VCTs delivering an eightfold return for shareholders.”

“Simon Davies supported admirably by Richard Boyden, impressively and unstintingly, managed what proved to be a fairly complex, cross-border, transaction involving a number of different parties and their advisors. They worked tirelessly under an extremely difficult economic climate caused by COVID and further exacerbated by Brexit negotiations, but delivered a fantastic result for both exiting shareholders as well as management. They acted extremely professionally in both sell side negotiations and assisting the buy-side in understanding the requirements of the deal.” Paul Wonnacott, Executive Chairman at Vectair Systems
“This was a sensational result for the Mobeus VCTs. Spectrum’s patience and persistence was crucial in guiding the transaction through the challenges of cross-border M&A in the midst of a global pandemic and significant political uncertainly. After attracting investment from US Private Equity, Vectair is now well-placed to continue to expand its already impressive US presence. We wish the business and the team every success for the future.” Dominic Draysey, Mobeus Investment Manager
“This was a complex transaction coming at the time of the global pandemic, and working with cross-border parties for a truly global business. Vectair has significant opportunities to further develop its business in the US market and the combination of Oxbow, Arcspring and NorthStar provides a robust funding package for developing that opportunity. We wish the team a successful future.” Simon Davies, Managing Director at Spectrum Corporate Finance
"We have a high conviction thesis to invest at the intersection of the Industry 4.0 revolution, the green economy, and healthy buildings. Vectair has built a compelling set of innovative solutions that address this opportunity. We are excited to partner with the Vectair team to accelerate their growth by digitising and reimagining how aircare and hygiene are delivered, managed, and experienced."​ Duncan Angove, Managing Partner, Arcspring