Meanwhile, the business itself also appeared much racier beneath the surface. The team’s shop floor inspections of Averys’ various sites convinced them that its operations were tangibly more efficient than the competition. Among the subsidiaries, the team’s site visits to Stow showed it to be the best of a good bunch.
“Compared to the other factories, there was a huge gap between Stow’s industrial performance and know-how and the rest of the group. So we realised that Stow would be the driver of the group,” says Thierry.
Despite the company’s history of acquisitive growth, these operations were not at all integrated, and so the team believed there was lots of operational improvement potential left on the table.
This was a bold position to take to Equistone’s investment committee, but they were convinced that the company was on the verge of strong growth. In addition, the macro trends looked positive and they were comfortable with the company’s ability to pass through any steel price inflation. Finally, the switch from traditional retail to e-commerce, they realised, would disrupt Averys’ clients, but not Averys’ business.