Belfast Telegraph

Refrigeration firm Lowe is on the right track to expand

By Lesley Houston

From perfectly chilled strawberries and cream at Wimbledon to ice-cold drinks at the weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, a Lisburn refrigeration business is preparing to expand its international markets after an investment from Irish venture capitalists.

Lowe Refrigeration handed MML a 55% stake in the company in exchange for an undisclosed sum which will support the firm's expansion plans beyond its current nine locations.

Specialising in short-term refrigeration rentals as well as hot food equipment, Lowe services major sporting events, exhibitions and festivals throughout Europe, the USA, Middle East and Far East .

Lowe's investment was made by MML Capital which provides capital to private businesses from between €2m (£1.5m) and €50m (£39m).

Rachel McCausland, Lowe's sales and marketing director, said the company is planning for further growth.

"We have detailed, strategic plans for development globally across the US and within the Far East," she said.

"We have a large distribution centre in Atlanta in the US and we are targeting further areas beyond this.

"We also have a base in Hong Kong and we are looking to expand regionally, and we have just had a very successful Singapore Grand Prix there at the weekend," she added.

The company services events such as Wimbledon, Glastonbury and the US Open Golf.

The company has doubled in size since chief executive Rodney Lowry led the acquisition of the business from the founding Lowe family in 2008 and this year hopes to post revenue close to £16m.

Internationally it employs close to 100 people, with locally recruited staff swelling numbers during events.

It employs 30 people in Northern Ireland but that is expected to increase with its planned expansion.

Lawyer John McGuckian, who led the investment team at law firm Tughans, which advised MML, said: "We welcome investments into such progressive and export-led businesses as Lowe Refrigeration. We look forward to seeing the growth this money can bring to Lowe Refrigeration and to working on similar investments into Northern Irish companies, which we believe will and should increase in volume."

Lowe was advised by Carson McDowell, while Bank of Ireland financed the transaction.

Belfast Telegraph