A six-figure deal has been completed to buy out a venture capital firm’s share in growing North East cable management company, D-Line.
To help the now internationally-renowned business get off the ground seven years ago, Northstar Ventures North East Co. Investment Fund joined forces with investment firm Middleton Enterprises to make a contribution of £160,000.
Now, Middleton Enterprises and D-Line are grouping together with other investors to buy out Northstar’s initial investment, the returns from which will go into a new fund that will be ploughed back into other local companies, helping the region’s economy grow.
D-Line’s founder and managing director, Paul Ruddick said: “Myself and the management are pleased to have received the continued support of the shareholders and this move will allow us to continue to drive the business forward.
“We have achieved so much and can now look forward to continuing our work with the support of a very focused group of backers.”
D-Line, which specialises in designer cable management, was founded after Ruddick identified a need for a product that could hide wires neatly and in a cost-effective way, helping customers avoid channeling pipes and wires behind walls. The business, which employs 17 people in Whitley Bay, has a strong international market, helping it to more than double its turnover from £1.2m to around £2.5m in the last three years.
The company’s products have proved particularly popular in public buildings and hotels and its merchandise can be found in outlets as B&Q and Screwfix.
Investor Jeremy Middleton, of Middleton Enterprises, said: “I’m very proud to be working with a business which has successfully grown into a robust and profitable company, with much of the credit for that due to Paul and his team.
“D-Line is a strong exporter, recently expanding into both emerging and established global markets, including the USA and South Africa. We’re delighted that we have made a further investment into D-Line, which I believe will continue to expand and thrive. I think this is an excellent example of how investment can benefit both the investor and the investee, ultimately helping the economy to build and grow.”
Northstar Ventures director Ian Richards said: “We are delighted to see a business that we originally backed in 2006, and supported in successive rounds, grow to a level that enables us to realise our investment, and we wish the directors and investors the very best for the future.
“As an added bonus, we are excited by the prospect of a new fund re-investing the returns from our investments into growing more successful businesses in the North East."