Leith Mergers & Acquisitions Limited advise the shareholders of Promain UK Limited in their sale to PaintWell Limited, a Cairngorm Capital portfolio company. 

We are delighted to have advised the shareholders of Promain UK Limited in the sale of 100% of their share capital to PaintWell Limited with the support of Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP.

Leith M&A were appointed as exclusive M&A advisors to the shareholders. We were tasked with finding the right buyer for this long-established company and securing the legacy of the company for its employees and clients. Following an exhaustive and highly competitive M&A process involving offers from multiple bidders, PaintWell emerged as the clear preferred bidder.

You can read the full press release from Cairngorm / PaintWell, below.

Cairngorm Capital supports PaintWell’s acquisition of industrial paints and coatings specialist, Promain

London, 13 October 2022: Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP (Cairngorm Capital) is pleased to announce that its specialist paints distribution company, PaintWell Limited has acquired Promain UK Limited (Promain).

Following its strategic partnership with Cairngorm Capital Partners in March 2021, PaintWell’s initial focus was on expanding its network of branches geographically and developing its e-commerce platform, resulting in eight new branches across the North West, Midlands and Yorkshire. The acquisition of Promain broadens PaintWell’s growth strategy further and extends the platform for PaintWell’s new industrial paints division.

Promain is the UK’s largest distributor of industrial paints and surface coatings. Headquartered in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Promain is the preferred UK distributor for many of the world’s leading paint and surface coatings manufacturers. Due to its expert technical knowledge of the technologies and materials available across the industry, and the quality of support provided by its technical team, Promain has built a reputation for outstanding service among its trade and retail customers.

The acquisition facilitates Promain’s owners’, Mark French and Carol Barry, retirement from the business and accelerates PaintWell’s industrial paint strategy. Promain will form the cornerstone of PaintWell’s new industrial paints division. The strength of its supply chain and technical expertise pairs well with PaintWell’s existing industrial paints offering and external sales expertise, creating a platform for further development and growth.

John Naylor-Leyland, who led Cairngorm Capital’s team on this investment said, “We greatly admire the business that Mark and Carol have built. Its position as the UK’s leading distributor of specialist industrial paints, mature supply chain and deep technical expertise make it strategically compelling and a great fit for PaintWell. Significant investment will be deployed into both businesses and we look forward to supporting Stuart and his team with their plan to build a specialist industrial paints division, underpinned by an expanding branch network.”

Stuart Slocombe, PaintWell’s Managing Director, explained, “I am delighted to welcome everybody at Promain to PaintWell. The team is highly respected across the industry for their formidable technical and product knowledge, and great service. Culturally we share the same independent approach and service ethic so this partnership provides an important springboard for our new industrial paint division and will broaden the range of products that we are able to offer our trade customers.”

Mark French, Promain’s Managing Director, added, “Carol and I hadn’t actively decided to retire but we were contacted by PaintWell, who outlined their plans and we quickly realised that this is the right moment to step back. We are delighted to have found the ideal custodian for Promain. PaintWell shares and respects the attributes that have made Promain so successful over the years – deep technical expertise, strong relationships and great service. We have every confidence that our team and customers will be in good hand and that Promain will go from strength to strength.”

Cairngorm Capital and PaintWell were advised on this transaction by BDO (financial and tax), and Womble Bond Dickinson (legal). Promain’s shareholders were advised by Leith M&A (financial) and Downs Solicitors LLP (legal).


For further information please contact David Nelson via email at [email protected]
or call 01306 646 890 in the strictest of confidence.
Leith Mergers & Acquisitions is a family-run business based in Dorking, Surrey. We work with only a handful of clients at any given time, allowing us to provide a personal, proactive and intensive service. We pride ourselves on our ability to deeply understand your needs and motivations in order to secure the future you are aiming for.

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