A family-owned Northumberland window manufacturer and supplier, which has become one of the regional leaders in its industry, has been sold in a management buy-out (MBO).
Kitson Windows, owned by Neil and Zoe Finlay for almost 35 years, has seen significant investment made in the business to enable it to lead the way in its field, manufacturing, supplying and installing a bespoke high-quality range of windows, doors and conservatories to both the trade and public throughout Northumberland and the Borders.
The business, based in Alnwick, was the first in the North of England to manufacture energy rated window frames – now an industry norm – and was the first business of its kind in the country to achieve coveted ISO9001 standard. It is now one of the only window businesses in the North East to continue to manufacture in-house to ensure its high standards and accreditations.
Now, Kitson Windows has been acquired – for an undisclosed sum – by John Currah, its sales director of 20 years. The jobs of all employees at the South Road and Berwick sites, several of whom have served for well over 20 years, have been safeguarded and plans are in place for the business to continue on its path of steady growth.
Mr Finlay, who has run the business since 1983, will remain with the business as a consultant to support his long-time colleague in his new role.
He said: “After 35 years with the business, the time felt right to step back. I am very happy to sell it to someone who knows the business and has worked hard for it for 20 years. I have enjoyed a very good relationship with John and I am confident in the future of the company and the security of its loyal staff with him at the helm.
“The business has grown significantly over the years and we have always invested along the way to stay ahead of our competitors with advances in manufacturing and systems.
“As a result of that continued investment and putting robust systems in place, we are in a very good position for the future. A big selling point for us is that we are one of the only companies in the North East to still manufacture in house for our own customers, while most companies buy-in their frames now and just supply and install them. This gives us far greater control on quality and a far more flexible offering for our clients. If someone were to ask us for window frames which are pink on the outside and blue on the side, we could do that, whereas most of our competitors could not contemplate anything so bespoke.
“I am pleased to remain with the business as a consultant and look forward to continuing to work with John and the team.”
Law firm Sintons, based in Newcastle, acted for Mr and Mrs Finlay in the sale of the business. Partner Matt Collen and solicitor Luke Philpott handled the corporate aspects, with associate Danielle Dale overseeing real estate matters.
Matt Collen said: “During his 35 years with the business, Neil has built Kitson Windows into a leading name within its industry, making significant investment along the way to ensure it remains at the very forefront of its sector. That commitment and dedication from Neil and the team has meant Kitson Windows has stood the test of time and is a strong business in very good shape for the future.
“We are very pleased to have been able to support Neil with his exit, and we wish John the very best of luck in taking Kitson Windows forward.”
Having worked with Kitson Windows for over 20 years, accountancy firm Haines Watts provided corporate finance services to Neil throughout the MBO, with partner Steven Richardson and associate partner Chris Hird advising on the sale.
Chris Hird said: “Haines Watts has a longstanding relationship with Neil and Kitson Windows, and in that time the business has grown to become a respected name in the glazing industry. Neil’s enduring commitment to quality and service have helped to create a robust and longstanding business for the future
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Neil on his exit from the business, and we’ve no doubt that Kitson will continue to succeed with John at the helm.”