Fresh from his appearance on the cover of this month’s Elite Business, Better Bathrooms founder Colin Stevens has more reason to celebrate after attracting a £10m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) – which should lead to the creation of 500 UK jobs in the next five years.
For those of you who have not yet read Stevens’ inspiring tale – which saw him ditch his dreams of professional golf stardom for a bathroom business now worth £32m – we would recommend delving into it here as a matter of urgency.
Needless to say, Stevens’ vision for Better Bathrooms has been significantly aided by the hefty injection from the BGF, which was established to lend a helping hand to fast-growing business on these fair shores. As a result of the investment, BGF is to take a minority stake in Better Bathrooms, and has introduced Paul Gilbert, non-executive chairman of The Gym Group and former financial director of Matalan, as a new non-executive chairman of the business. Stevens hopes that the investment will accelerate growth by allowing the company to explore alternative source supplies, expand into adjacent markets and potentially take the business overseas, as envisaged by Stevens when he spoke exclusively to EB this month.
Commenting on the news, Stevens said: “For me, BGF were the ideal partner as we share the same values, with company growth and the creation of jobs being of paramount importance. I believe that with BGF’s investment and expertise, we will be able to take the company to the next level, expanding our factories and product lines, and ultimately hit our future growth target of £200m.”
David Colclough, an investment director at BGF, added: “The growth that this company has demonstrated over the last twelve years has been outstanding. But Colin, who is an extremely passionate and driven entrepreneur, is keen to do it on a much bigger scale. This is where BGF comes in and it is a great example of how growth capital can really help a business with ambitions to expand.”
Given that global market research firm Mintel currently values the bathroom fixtures and fittings retail market at £1bn annually – with further growth expected – we can’t help but feel that the 32-year-old entrepreneur from Wigan is destined for even bigger (and better) things in the not-too-distant future.