Having tracked the business for a number of years prior to supporting the management buyout, the Endless team had long recognised the underlying strength of the Gradus business model as well as the qualities of the management team. Impressed by the effectiveness of the business in sustaining its market leading position through economic cycles, Endless jumped at the opportunity to work with the Gradus team when it came about in 2014. Endless built a strong relationship with management and secured an exclusive opportunity to complete a management buyout, performing our own due diligence and fully funding the transaction without the need for third party debt.
Founded in 1966, Gradus employs over 300 people and operates on an international platform, with sales reaching from its UK heartland to the Far East and Australasia. Having begun its history as a flooring accessories business, it now offers fully-fledged contract interior solutions packages and is able to offer market leading design services which solve some of the most technical challenges faced by customers.
The Gradus product portfolio offers sector leading quality and breadth and includes barrier matting, floor coverings, wall protection and lighting design. As market-leaders, Gradus continues to innovate and raise standards in service and customer support.
In the period following the buyout, we worked with the management team to drive sales growth and profitability, with exciting new targets and markets developed.
Gradus became even more visible to UK and international trade and as a consequence of this, Endless exited the business in November 2015 following an unsolicited approach from Gerflor, a strategic purchaser. Endless recorded a return of 2.7x its original investment.
Key person for this case study
Francesco joined Endless at start of 2013 and is currently a Partner in the Investment Team and a member of Endless LLP. Francesco leads our London Office and investment activity in the South East. Since joining the firm Francesco has been involved with numerous transactions including Gradus, The Book People, Ink Media, Brabant Alucast, Arran Aromatics, and Affinity Workforce. He has also led a number of secondary debt acquisitions and realisations.