Celebrating the buy-out (l to r): YFM investment director Ian Waterfield, TEV’s James Carr-Smith, Tony Hammersley and Chris Chisman, and Tariq Javaid of accountants Garbutt + Elliott

UK: TEV Ltd, the former IMI Air Conditioning and IMI Marstair business, has been the subject of a management buy-out.

The buy-out of the Brighouse-based air conditioning business is backed by private equity firm YFM Equity Partners, and sees current directors Tony Hammersley and Chris Chisman, along with product manager James Carr-Smith and non-executive chairman Chris Brown forming the new management team.

It also marks the retirement of well-known industry character John Lightfoot, and the departure of Jim Vigor, one of the major investors in the company’s management buy-out from IMI plc in 2003. Former MD Richard Dossett is expected to remain with the company for a transitional period. 

TEV operates through two widely recognised brands, Marstair and Quartz. Marstair supplies air conditioning and refrigeration equipment into a variety of end markets, such as retail, leisure, food manufacture and solutions for harsh climates. 

Quartz, the company it acquired from Vent-Axia in 2005, focuses on chilled water cooling solutions for commercial, residential and public sector applications. 

TEV’s pedigree goes back to 1971 with the formation of IMI Air Conditioning and IMI Marstair on the same site as the current business in Brighouse in West Yorkshire. Today this facility employs 56 people and incorporates production space of 35,000ft² plus a further 6,000ft² of office space and development laboratories including three test rooms. Turnover last year was £8m.

“Over the past few years, TEV has delivered significant revenue and profit growth and the management team of Tony Hammersley, Chris Chisman and James Carr-Smith, supported by chairman Chris Brown, is now looking to invest in sales and product to accelerate the growth across all areas of the business,” YFM Equity Partners said in a statement.

New MD Tony Hammersley, said: “YFM is known for successfully growing UK manufacturing business and so we are thrilled with both their investment and the expertise which they will provide. We are looking forward to working closely with YFM to enable us to deliver our growth plans and reach the Company’s true potential.”

John Lightfoot

The buy-out marks the retirement of sales and marketing director John Lightfoot after 47 years in the industry. Starting with five years at contractor Barrett & Wright he moved into manufacturing in 1976 when he joined Isle-of-Wight-based Temperature Ltd as a systems engineer.

He then spent five years in sales at Andrews Industrial Equipment before joining IMI Marstair in 1985 as distribution manager. Rising to become international sales director and sales and marketing director, John was one of the management team behind the management buy-in buy-out from IMI plc in 2003.

John’s retirement also sees him stepping down as chairman of the HEVAC Fan Coil Unit Group, a position he has held since the group was formed in 2002. In the 1990s John was chairman of the FETA Export Club and took a very active role in the HEVACR 2005 project, a government-funded project to help FETA members increase their profitability.