By Karen Peattie

POLYBOX, a family business in the Western Isles, has been acquired by Moulded Foams, one of the UK’s largest independent producers of moulded foam, following an investment from BGF.

Moulded Foams, which has manufacturing sites in Cumbernauld and Peterhead as well as Lincolnshire and South Wales, is expanding its presence across Scotland by adding the Isle of Lewis-based firm to its portfolio.

Moulded Foams has already embarked on a rolling “reinvestment and renewal” programme at the Stornoway factory to support increased demand for fish farming in the Outer Hebrides. The company has committed £250,000 to new machinery and training with the potential to further invest next year.

Family-owned Polybox saw Moulded Foams as the “natural acquirer of the business to protect and grow capacity on the island”. The acquisition will safeguard all 14 jobs at the island firm.

Moulded Foams produces a range of 98 per cent air products which protect food, goods, and insulate buildings. They help preserve energy and protect the longevity of goods for export and domestic markets.

Its chief executive, John Thornberry, led a management buyout of the original Cumbernauld business in 2006 when turnover was £2 million. Since then, it has seen rapid growth, delivering close to £20m in 2018. He said: “We’ve expanded our operations through a mixture of organic growth and targeted acquisitions. Having factories close to our customers is key to our strategy and we will look to make further acquisitions as we expand our geographical footprint across the UK.”

BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested more than £2 billion in over 300 companies, making it the “most active investor in the UK and Ireland”.