London, 9 November, 2004 LAWFUEL – MBO, Banking, securities, legal news — White & Case acted for the management, led by industry legend Harry Rawlinson, in the £82.5m Management Buy Out of the showers division of Baxi Holdings plc. The purchase consisted of two elements: firstly the share acquisition of Aqualisa Products Limited; and secondly the purchase of the Gainsborough shower business. Both were bought from Baxi Heating UK Limited, which is owned by BC Partners. Rawlinson became managing director of Aqualisa in 1998.
Rawlinson, dubbed the ‘Shower King’, is credited by many with revolutionising the shower market with the invention of Aqualisa’s Quartz shower, which separated temperature controls from the plumbing. The innovation has even been the subject of a course at Harvard Business School.
Commenting on the deal, Alan Greenough, head of White & Case’s Private Equity practice in London, said: “The British shower market has experienced average annual growth of around five per cent for the past five years, with more than two million showers now sold each year. With this growth forecast to continue and with such a strong management team, the business will undoubtedly be even more successful.”
The White & Case team acting for the management was led by partner Alan Greenough, working with Sam Tyfield and Jennifer Delaney. The management team was backed by Close Brothers Private Equity, with debt financing for the transaction provided by a bank consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Berwin Leighton Paisner advised Close Brothers Private Equity, and Macfarlanes acted for Royal Bank of Scotland. Dickson Minto WS acted for Baxi Heating UK Limited.