Management buyout at Scottish decorating contractor employing 1,600 people

Bell Group, the Airdrie-headquartered commercial decorating contractor, has completed a management buyout with the support of a seven-figure loan from HSBC.

The firm, which employs more than 1,600 people from 31 locations across the UK, plans to undertake acquisitions, continue to diversify its services and improve business operations as part of its five-year strategy.

It is forecasting turnover of £150 million for 2021, building on its average year-on-year growth of 15 per cent. Customers include NHS trusts, the Ministry of Defence, housing associations and local councils. The firm has also worked on many historic buildings and palaces.

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Craig Bell, chief executive of Bell Group and major shareholder, said: “We have seen a real step change in the work we’ve completed over the last six months and we’re very excited about the future.

Bell Group, which employs more than 1,600 people from 31 locations across the UK, has also worked on many historic buildings and palaces.

“The pandemic understandably slowed our growth over the last year, but our forecasts for this year are very strong. As new owners we’re excited to continue to build on the legacy of our predecessors over the past 37 years.

“HSBC UK have been a supportive partner for Bell Group for over ten years and their continued backing means we can set out new plans for this year and beyond.”

Scott Wilson, deputy head of corporate banking in Scotland at HSBC UK, added: “Bell Group is a great Scottish business success story, having built up impressive growth over many years. The management buy-out marks an exciting and pivotal moment for the company, and we have been delighted to support this process and help set the group up for the years to come.”

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