Gee Graphite sharpens up for 2018 with MBO

Gee Graphite sharpens up for 2018

A Yorkshire manufacturer has completed a management buy-out (MBO) following backing from a group of organisations with further growth capital provided through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

With financial backing from Business Enterprise Fund (BEF), working alongside ABN Amro, and support from accountants Wheawill and Sudworth with Ramsdens Solicitors; Darren Pearson, Dave Bennett and Steve Pitts have taken the reins of the 28-year-old business.

Gee Graphite manufactures graphite products including gaskets for the oil and gas industry at its Dewsbury headquarters, along with offering a subcontract Water Jet Cutting Service.

The trio, who have been with the company for nearly 40 years between them, have combined their industry specialism and intimate knowledge of the business to manage Gee Graphite’s current outlook and implement plans for future growth.

“We’re very excited to have completed this deal and have ambitious plans to grow the business” said Darren.

Following the MBO, Gee Graphite approached BEF for further funding through NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, to support the business’s growth plans, including the creation of 2 new jobs.

“There’s already scope to streamline our processes, allowing us to compete for further contracts. Gee Graphite’s core offering is very specialist and has been honed for nearly 30 years – with this competitive advantage, we can take the business to the next level.”

“Gee Graphite were actually the first to implement water cutting technology in the UK. We want to continue being ahead of the curve as we move the business forward.”

John Hall of Business Enterprise Fund and James Elliott of ABN Amro assisted with the purchasing of the business and finance.

“It’s a pleasure to be involved with another well-established business” said John.

“We could see a big ambition to grow the business, but a need for capital to facilitate it.

By working with James from ABN Amro we’ve been able to make the MBO possible and together with the follow on growth finance through NPIF, there’s a positive outlook for the year ahead and it’s been a great start to the year for the company.”

David Butterworth of Wheawill and Sudworth Chartered Accountants helped build the proposal for the deal.

“It has been rewarding to have helped the MBO Team acquire the business and to focus it for growth and development during 2018 and beyond” he said.

Richard Dean of Ramsdens Solicitors, based in Huddersfield, represented the business throughout the process.

“We are delighted to have supported this transaction, which allows Gee Graphite to continue growing the business with the new board of directors whilst retaining continuity in both its management team and service offering” he said.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Image from left to right: Richard Dean of Ramsdens, James Elliott of ABN Amro, John Hall of Business Enterprise Fund, David Bennett, Steve Pitts and Darren Pearson of Gee Graphite, David Butterworth of Wheawill and Sudworth.


Notes to editors:

About Business Enterprise Fund

The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) provides loans from £500 to £150,000 to businesses, helping them thrive and grow. Lending to businesses of all ages and across all sectors BEF has lent over £30 million, helping save or create over 2000 jobs.

BEF are a Delivery Partner for the Government’s Start Up Loans Programme which supports emerging and young businesses with finance and support. BEF alongside FFE deliver the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s Microfinance Loans across Yorkshire, Humber and the Tees Valley, a fund delivered by the British Business Bank.

As a social enterprise and a Responsible Finance Provider, BEF’s profits are reinvested into the loan fund and granted to organisations that encourage and build enterprise. Over the last 5 years BEF’s lending has added nearly £90 million of value to the economy.

Bradford: Devere House, Little Germany, Bradford, BD1 5AH

Leeds: 5th Floor Carlton Towers, 34 St Pauls Street, Leeds, LS1 2QB

York: Blake House, Blake Street, York, YO1 8QH

Tees Valley: Belasis Hall Technology Park, Coxwold Way, Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, TS23 4EA

Goole: Goole Development rust, 57 Carlisle Street, Goole, DN14 5DS

Fergus Mckie, Marketing Co-ordinator: 07827 318692

About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.

• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.

• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.

• The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding.

• The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit

• The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.

• The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at

About Business Enterprise Fund

The Business Enterprise Fund is a social enterprise that lends money to businesses in West & North Yorkshire & the North East, who are unable to get lending from the banks. As a social enterprise there are no share holders – all profits generated are reinvested into the business.