ChargePoint Technology – the Merseyside manufacturer which supplies precision containment valves to some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and chemicals businesses – is set to create over 15 new jobs in Merseyside following a £1.625m investment from Enterprise Ventures.
The deal includes the first investment by The North West Fund for Mezzanine, which has provided £900,000 to enable ChargePoint to recruit additional skilled staff and develop new high tech products for export. Enterprise Ventures has also invested £725,000 from the Coalfields Funds.
ChargePoint’s containment valves – precision split butterfly valves – provide an accurate and safe means of transferring powders from one vessel to another during the production process. By minimising dust emissions, they are specified to prevent cross-contamination and protect operators from exposure to potent substances.
Originally developed in 1996 in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline, ChargePoint valves are now used by almost every major pharmaceutical manufacturer globally and increasingly in other industries such as chemical, bio-pharmaceutical, food manufacture and consumer goods. Customers include GSK, Pfizer, Henkel, DuPont, INEOS, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Sanofi Aventis.
ChargePoint employs 45 staff at its manufacturing facility in Speke, Liverpool. The company exports approximately 80% of its products and won the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2012.
Chris Eccles, Managing Director, said: “ChargePoint sets the standard for containment valve technology within the pharmaceutical industry and our products are specified around the world. We have identified opportunities to increase sales in emerging markets, in particular the Far East, and to expand further into other sectors, including bio-pharmaceutical and food manufacture. This investment will allow us to pursue our growth plans, which includes the creation of over 15 skilled jobs in the next three years on Merseyside.”
The North West Fund for Mezzanine, launched earlier this year, provides investment of £750,000 to £2m for established businesses seeking finance for growth. It is part of the £155m North West Fund, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
Stewart McCombe, of Enterprise Ventures, which manages The North West Fund for Mezzanine, said: “The North West Fund for Mezzanine is ideal for successful companies like ChargePoint, which have strong growth potential but may struggle to access investment in the current climate. This investment will allow ChargePoint to develop new products to take advantage of opportunities in emerging markets, and increase both sales and after-sales revenue by expanding its technical and support network.”
Paul Jones, Constantine Biller and John Davies of Clearwater Corporate Finance advised the management team. Constantine Biller said: “This investment reflects the opportunities available to UK companies in the global flow products market. Flow control components used in critical production processes are integral to a manufacturer’s operations. UK companies focused on engineering excellence and developing best-of-breed flow products for demanding industrial applications are therefore ideally placed to take advantage of the global growth opportunities available.”
Linder Myers Solicitors provided legal advice to the management team, with Grant Thornton providing tax advice. Ward Hadaway provided legal advice to Enterprise Ventures while Langtons Corporate Finance in Liverpool carried out due diligence.