Claremont agrees Viewpoint MBO

Claremont Group Interiors' audiovisual and multimedia division has been acquired by a team of managers to form a new business.

Viewpoint began as a division of the Birchwood-based interior design and fit-out firm in 1995. Clients come from corporate, education and ministry of defence sectors.

The buyout was led by Graham Smith, Michael Creasey and Tony Whitehead and was funded through a combination of private investment and bank finance from the Royal Bank of Scotland, in conjunction with the Enterprise Guarantee Scheme.

As a department within Claremont, Viewpoint turned over £1.5m during the last financial year and expects to grow to £1.8m in its first year as an independent business.

Graham Smith, managing director of Viewpoint, said: "This deal gives us greater scope to grow Viewpoint without the constraints that come with being part of a bigger business. In particular, it is our in-house systems design expertise that sets us apart from the competition and allows us to get involved with projects at a much earlier stage. The business already has a strong foundation, including a well-established client list, and we have secured our first new win already, a £500,000 contract with our client Imperial Tobacco.

"Over and above our core business of designing, delivering and servicing technology solutions, we also see real opportunity for Viewpoint with the integration of technology into systems furniture. Our history as part of an interior design company and our track record providing training environments to the defence sector holds us in good stead."

Viewpoint has made its first new appointment, with the arrival of Rowan Brunger from SMART Technologies re-seller, Steljes. Brunger heads up Viewpoint's business development and has become a shareholder. He brings the team's headcount to eight.

Mike Gardner, executive chairman of Claremont Group Interiors, said: "Viewpoint's management buy-out is our second technology success story. Viewpoint has followed in the footsteps of Airangel, a £2.2m turnover business, which started out within the Claremont group of companies and I'm confident Viewpoint will equal their success."

Viewpoint has moved out of Claremont's office in Birchwood, although Claremont will continue to be a major client of the business.

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