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Catapult Exits Whelan Refining

11 March 2013

Catapult Exits Whelan Refining

Catapult Venture Managers Limited (“Catapult”) today announced that it has sold its stake in Whelan Refining Ltd (‘Whelan’) to the company’s management team.

Catapult invested in Whelan in 2006 alongside Bridges Ventures to enable the refurbishment and re-commissioning of a redundant oil refinery in Stoke-on-Trent. Following the investment, the plant was re-engineered to the highest technical and environmental standards to become the first and only waste oil refining plant in the UK – recycling waste oil to produce base oil which is sold back to the lubricant industry.

The exit provides an excellent return of 4.7x the total investment for Catapult’s Advantage Enterprise & Innovation Fund (“AEIF”). Launched in 2005, AEIF provides growth capital to innovative West Midlands based businesses.

Since 2006 Whelan has helped to successfully divert over 100,000 tonnes of waste oil from use as a low grade fuel while producing net savings of over 300,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.  In addition to this positive environmental impact, Whelan has created 31 jobs.

Duncan Cameron, Director at Catapult, said, “We are delighted both with the financial return for our fund and the positive environmental impact that Whelan continues to make.  Since we invested in 2006 the business has made great progress and we have enjoyed working with John Whelan and his management team in executing their vision for Whelan.  We wish them every success as they continue to grow the business.”

John Whelan, Managing Director of Whelan, said “Catapult’s investment helped me to realise my vision to establish a successful business measured by environmental impact and  job creation as well as financial performance.  Catapult have been supportive investors and I have always appreciated their straight-forward approach to business.”