In September 2010 Graphite led the £130 million buy-out of U-POL, a leading independent manufacturer and distributor of branded automotive refinishing products.

U-POL manufactures and markets refinish products (primarily body fillers, coatings and aerosols) for the global automotive aftermarket.  The company has an enviable reputation for product quality and innovation, which is the key to its global success. U-POL is the market leader in the UK and has strong, growing positions in the US, the Far East, the Middle East, Africa and Russia as well as other overseas territories.

Since Graphite’s investment, both the executive and non-executive elements of U-Pol’s board have been strengthened, bringing a broader strategic vision and previous experience of working with larger customers across a variety of distribution channels and geographies.

After a full re-branding, U-POL is targeting to expand into new sectors and channels. Its multi-purpose protective coating product in particular offers significant further growth potential. The product portfolio is increasingly being positioned to deliver solutions to the end-user across a variety of distribution channels.

The company has significantly improved its financial and management information. It has also recruited overseas sales personnel and invested in research and development to facilitate further international expansion with new products. Investment in the manufacturing facility and a new distribution centre will allow the business to meet continued strong demand.