Azets closes multi-million-pound bi-fold door deal


Azets, the regional accountancy and business advisors to SMEs, has announced that its Corporate Finance team has advised the leadership team of specialist bi-fold door manufacturer, Slide and Fold, on its sale to acquisitive privately-owned business Orchestra Group.

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Slide and Fold Limited, together with sister company Weathershield Limited, is a long-established Great British business specialising in the manufacture and supply of bi-fold doors and high-quality double-glazed windows.

The family-owned business, led by husband-and-wife Darron and Eve Cooke, is based in Coventry.

Under the Cooke’s ownership, Slide and Fold has achieved substantial growth and become a leader in its industry. As a tech-enabled business, Slide and Fold has a significant online sales focus, which was a key enabler for attracting interested parties.

Azets was appointed by the Cooke family after Mark Selby, National Head of Corporate Finance at Azets, had provided initial advice on a sale strategy and timeline, building trust with the client whilst demonstrating Azets’ specialist expertise.

Also advising from Azets was Corporate Finance Senior Manager, Simon Hopkin.

Azets identified Orchestra Group as a potential buyer in March 2020, just as the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis was taking hold in the UK. All negotiations and project management through to completion was conducted during the pandemic, adding significant challenges to the multi-million-pound deal.

Commenting on the sale, Darron and Eve Cooke, said: “As a long-held family-owned business, it was important we were able to identify the right time to sell and the right buyers. We are thankful to Mark and the team at Azets for helping us achieve this. We appointed Azets to advise on the sale of Slide and Fold following a number of discussions with Mark, during which his openness, honesty and transparency filled us with confidence. We are pleased the deal is now complete and, despite the additional complication of a global pandemic, Azets maintained a personal and professional approach throughout.”

Mark Selby, National Head of Corporate Finance at Azets said: ‘’We are delighted to have assisted Darron and Eve with the sale of their business. Conducting this transaction under lockdown restrictions presented some highly unusual logistical challenges. However, the desire of all parties to get a deal done meant that we were able to navigate these successfully and achieve a great outcome for our client.”

Steve Rhodes, Director at Orchestra Group, added: “It was a pleasure to deal with Mark and Simon throughout the acquisition process. We found them to be extremely responsive and they were helpful in finding solutions to the inevitable hiccups that occur in the deal process. They were always looking to get the right deal for their client and were dedicated to making sure the deal got completed as quickly and smoothly as possible.

“We have worked with multiple vendor advisors’ and we found Azets to be amongst the most professional and easy to work with of any that we have encountered. If I am selling a business in the future, I would not hesitate to approach Azets as advisors.”

Also advising Slide and Fold was legal and professional services business Knights plc.

Jon Start, Partner in Knights’ Corporate team, said: “This transaction marks the successful completion of another high-quality deal for our team during a disrupted year for many. It was a pleasure to support the sellers on this project alongside Azets, their accountants and corporate finance advisers, and we wish Darron and Eve all the best for the future.”

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