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MBO safeguards jobs at component maker.

A PONTYPOOL electronic components company has been acquired in a management buyout (MBO).

Husband and wife Zou and Alison Itani have led the buyout of Wiltan, for an undisclosed sum from its long-term Middle East-based owner.

The deal involving the pounds 5m turnover business, which employs 32, was structured by Cardiff-based Gambit Corporate Finance and funded by Barclays Corporate.

The 25-year-old business is the bigger player in the UK in transformer manufacturing.

Exports account for nearly 30% of revenues, predominantly to Europe and China. It also has major UK contracts with its technology used by Airbus and Network Rail Managing director Mr Itani said: "We had real concerns over the future of the business and our staff, if the business was to be sold up, so the MBO seemed to tick all the boxes.

"We have been working with Frank Holmes and Andrew Charter at Gambit Corporate Finance for months to structure and execute this complex transaction.

"We are obviously delighted that Barclays Corporate were able to support us in our MBO and we are now in the process of implementing our exciting business plan.

Jason Llewellyn, Barclays Corporate relationship director, said: "This is a great example of someone using previously acquired experience and using them within a business environment. "By really understanding the business and the manufacturing industry, Barclays Corporate has been able to support Wiltan both financially and professionally.

"It is great to demonstrate that MBOs are still taking place, with debt funding available to the right propositions. Wiltan is a great example of a Welsh manufacturing company competing on a global scale and exporting as opposed to importing to the Far East."

Andrew Charter, director at Gambit Corporate Finance, said: "It has been a pleasure dealing with Zou and Alison Itani, they are highly motivated owner directors with a great team behind them. The management buyout was the preferred option for succession by the previous owner of Wiltan. The transaction will enable the directors to continue to drive the company's growth prospects.

Mr Itani said: "The completion of the MBO will allow us to safeguard the future employment of our staff and grow our business. We hope to take advantage of the increase in renewable energy across the UK as we develop and manufacture products specifically for that growth market."

Mrs Itani said the strategy was to continue to invest heavily in the business.


Alison Itani and Zou Itani are now running the Wiltan factory in Pontypool after a buyout deal
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 30, 2010
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