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Bimbo deal for fetishwear firm.

A latex manufacturer whose business includes rubber for the fetish market has been acquired in a buy-in buy-out (bimbo) deal worth pounds 3.15million.

Four D Rubber of Heanor, Derbyshire, manufactures natural latex sheet used for clothing, exercise bands and specialised industrial and medical products.

The company, which has 31 employees, has a turnover of about pounds 2million which it is aiming to increase to pounds 3million by 2001.

Mr Brian Annable, commercial director, said that sales to rubber-clothing companies, rubber-fashion clothing firms and to fetish rubberwear manufacturers accounted for between 25 per cent and 35 per cent of trade.

Its product is also made into exercise bands for aerobics, physiotherapy and other remedial exercises.

The company supplies manufacturers of caravan panels, refrigerated lorry panels and interior panels for aircraft. Furniture and kitchen makers also use the product.

Mr Annable said: "We export 50 per cent of our output and the US is a market which has the greatest potential for growth. Our agent in the US formerly worked for a rival.

"The market we are planning to attack in the US is exercise bands and rubber clothing."

Mr Annable, with the company 19 years and involved in an original management buy-out of the firm six years ago, said: "We are always looking for potential users of the material and there is always something new coming along which interests us."

He said the company was unlikely to take on more than two new employees when business increased. The extra work would be met by machine capacity. Four D Rubber is in a good niche market and it is one of the few companies manufacturing latex and it has gr own steadily.

Mr Andrew Lawton of Birmingham lawyers Wragge led the legal team with Northern Venture Managers providing pounds 1.23million in return for an equity holding of 44 per cent.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 13, 1998
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