Former sales manager buys medical supplies firm in £1.4m deal

A Lancashire company which is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of X-ray protection equipment has been acquired by its former sales manager in a £1.4m deal.

WS Rothband & Co, which is based in Haslingden, has been acquired by Paul Dixon with backing from Lancashire County Council’s Rosebud Finance and Seneca Partners.
A subsequent loan from the North West Fund for Loans Plus, which is managed by FW Capital, will enable Paul to implement his ambitious growth plans.The deal will safeguard the jobs of the company’s nine staff and allow the previous owners, Michael and Lesley Todhunter, to retire. The new owner is planning to expand the business and create a further five jobs in the next three years.

Established in 1860 by WS Rothband, the company manufactures X-ray protection products for the healthcare and nuclear industries, including the lead aprons worn by radiographers. It also offers a range of physiotherapy equipment and digital imaging products.

The Todhunters have run the business since 1984 when they acquired it from the founder’s son Jeffrey Rothband, who was Mrs Todhunter’s uncle.

Paul Dixon, a former NHS radiographer, spent five years with Rothband as sales manager and product trainer. Since leaving in 2007, he has worked with larger medical device companies in a global marketing role.

Paul Taberner of Enterprise Ventures, which manages Rosebud Finance, said: “Paul Dixon has spent his career in the radiography sector and has an in-depth understanding of the market. He has identified a range of opportunities for growth. He is passionate about the business and is ideally placed to take it forward.”

Andy Traynor, Senior Investment Executive at FW Capital made the loan to WS Rothband.  He said: “WS Rothband is an established business with a significant share of the UK market.  Paul is an experienced and knowledgeable businessman who’s committed to expanding WS Rothband.  I’m delighted that the loan from the North West Fund for Loans Plus will provide him with the capital to take the business forward and we look forward to seeing it thrive under his leadership.”

For more information about Rosebud visit http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/, and search for 'rosebud', email rosebud@lancashire.gov.uk or contact 01772 536 652.

North West Fund Loans Plus