Estates takes a minority stake in family firm

Peter and Jabin Cussins.
Peter and Jabin Cussins.

Northumberland Estates has acquired a minority stake in Alnwick-based house builder Cussins, following the exit of another investor.

The Estates has taken up a share for an undisclosed sum in the firm, which has its headquarters on Bondgate Within and has developments across the county.

The news comes as BGF (Business Growth Fund) announces the exit of its investment in Cussins, in which the family remains majority owners of the business.

Minority shareholder BGF invested £5million in Cussins in December 2014 to support new site acquisition and housing developments, including sites at Longframlington, Warkworth and Longhorsley.

During this time, turnover has more than trebled, with expected sales in excess of £15million for 2016 and further growth forecast for 2017.

Over a period of close to 100 years, three generations of the Cussins family have built more than 50,000 homes in North East.

The business will continue to trade under the Cussins name, and Jabin Cussins will remain as chief executive officer (CEO).

Mike Stansfield, the former CEO of David Wilson Homes, who was introduced to the business by BGF, and Richard Taylor, who led the original investment for BGF and served as non-executive director, will both step down from the board following the exit.

BGF has backed more than 145 growing businesses and invested nearly £1billion since 2011.

The firm will now reinvest the returns from this exit into other entrepreneurial companies.

Jabin Cussins said: “We enjoyed tremendous support from BGF over the past two years and we could have happily continued our growth plans with their backing.

“At the same time, they have wholly supported our decision to progress to the next stage of our development alongside Northumberland Estates. BGF’s original equity funding immediately helped us to secure a significantly larger bank facility, which helped us accelerate our development plans.

“The growth we have demonstrated since, and the prospects for Cussins today, are testament to the impact that BGF has had. I would like to thank Richard and the team at BGF for all their support.”

Richard Taylor, of BGF, said: “In the two years since we invested in Cussins, the business has gone from strength to strength and we are fully supportive of this transaction, which has delivered a strong return for all shareholders.”

Cussins has been involved in numerous other schemes in north Northumberland, including The Limes, Willoughby Park, in Alnwick, and Creighton Place, Embleton.

Last year, the Gazette reported on the Duke of Northumberland opening the show home at The Limes development.

Cussins was established in the 1920s.