A HISTORIC Bradford control systems company has been bought by its boss in a management buy-out .

Malcolm Knapton,, managing director of Southern Redfern Industrial Solutions Ltd has acquired the company after securing a £400,000 invoice finance facility from Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance.

Southern which has a £3 million turnover is based on Mount Street, manufactures and installs electrical control units and is partnered with companies including Siemens, Unilever and Proctor & Gamble.

Following the management buy-out, the 94-year-old firm is looking to create a 24-hour service and to further develop its partnerships with blue-chip clients. It also plans to hire two new apprentices to add to its team of 25 employees.

As part of the acquisition, the company’s managers, John Hoather, Jonathan Douglas, Steve Mitchell and Phil Leeman have also bought shares in the business.

Malcolm joined the company in 1997 and became managing director in 2010.

He said: “Following the management buy-out, and the funding from Lloyds Bank, we are in a better position to take advantage of our growth potential. Over the next year we will look to develop the service we offer to our clients as well as grow our team by hiring at least two apprentices from the Bradford area.”

Ben Kimball, relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The management buy-out and the invoice finance facility has ultimately allowed Malcolm and the team to concentrate more on manufacturing services and less on finances.

“Lloyds Bank has committed to helping small businesses fulfil their growth potential by increasing net lending to SMEs.”