OakNorth Bank – the UK bank powered by OakNorth – has provided a £4.6m loan alongside investment from Literacy Capital, a closed-end investment company focussed on investing in and supporting small, growing UK businesses.
Founded in 2017 by Paul and Richard Pindar, Literacy has completed an investment in AluFold Direct, a fabricator of premium aluminium residential and commercial building products including bi-fold and sliding doors, windows and roof lanterns.
Since founding the business in 2013, Craig Miller and his wife Lorraine have successfully scaled the business to over 100 people, with the company operating out of its manufacturing facility in Blackburn, Lancashire. Craig will continue in the role of Managing Director post-transaction and also take on the role of Chairman.
Following significant growth since the founding of the business, AluFold Direct has recently added a service manufacturing products for supply on larger-scale projects, with the company already securing a significant level of orders. Over the next three years, AluFold Direct also plans to expand its capacity further and invest in an additional site to meet the high levels of latent demand.
Paul Pindar, Chairman and co-founder of Literacy Capital said: “We are delighted to complete our investment in AluFold Direct. Craig and Lorraine Miller have done a fantastic job founding and growing the business to its current size and we are excited to be working with Craig and the team to take advantage of the growing market amid increasing popularity for aluminium products across the country.
“We pride ourselves on supporting UK growth companies, and have funds available to invest to support more entrepreneurs like Craig and Lorraine Miller in the future. We have worked with the team at OakNorth on several transactions in the past, so know that they’re a partner equally invested in supporting UK scale-ups, and that they’d be willing to take the time to understand a niche industry like this one.”
Craig Miller, Chairman and Managing Director at AluFold Direct, said: “We’re excited to welcome Literacy Capital as our investor in AluFold. We look forward to benefiting from their experience to assist continuing to grow the business as we focus on broadening our product range and expanding capacity, taking full advantage of the market opportunity at hand.”
Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Debt Finance Director at OakNorth, said: “With household usage of aluminium products increasing, coupled with a decrease in popularity for traditional PVC-based products, now is an opportune time for Literacy to invest in AluFold Direct. Literacy and OakNorth share the same values in terms of supporting UK growth businesses and we’re thrilled to be able to once again help Literacy continue their own growth story with this investment. We look forward to working closely with Paul, Richard and the wider team on future transactions.”