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Praetura Commercial Finance supports buy-out of Sheffield manufacturer Chapmans Agricultural

Private investment group GIL Investments has completed a management buy-out of Chapmans Agricultural, supported by a new funding facility from Praetura Commercial Finance.


The Sheffield-based firm manufactures products known as wear parts, which are components used by agricultural businesses in large machinery for ploughing, cultivating and harvesting. Chapmans designs and creates more than 1m products from its base in Hillsborough and supplies to more than 250 clients across the UK and Europe.


The acquisition has been led by GIL directors and shareholders Les Litwinowicz and Trevor Middleton, who have secured 100% of Chapmans from owners Ian and Nigel Lane.


Les and Trevor own the private investment firm GIL Investments, which runs a successful portfolio of manufacturing and engineering businesses including another Praetura client, Erlson Precision Components.


Praetura Commercial Finance has supported the deal with a funding facility combining confidential invoice discounting and finance against Chapmans’ property, plant and machinery, cash flow and inventory.


Les Litwinowicz, director at GIL Investments, said: “Both Trevor and I are excited to be taking over Chapmans Agricultural, which is a business with an esteemed history and plenty of potential. Our main ambition is for Chapmans to be run as efficiently as possible, paving the way for future growth and new opportunities in both the UK and Europe.”


Stuart Bates, commercial director at Praetura Commercial Finance, added: “Chapmans has a long and respected heritage within manufacturing, and it’s easy to see the opportunity for growth that Les and Trevor have ambitions for. We know GIL’s track-record in supporting skilled, specialist companies and we welcomed the chance to support them with the alternative lending that will help them take Chapmans to new levels as it moves towards its centenary year.”


Chapmans’ history dates back to 1925, when it was known for manufacturing leaf springs for the automotive sector. In 1985, the business established itself as a leading maker of agricultural wear parts.


In the last 20 years, the business has gone from £1m in sales to over £12.5m whilst doubling its headcount from 50 to over 100 staff.


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