Op­ti­cal chain sets sight on growth across UK

The Herald Business - - News -

ONEof Scot­land’s largest in­de­pen­dent op­ti­cal chains, Dun­can & Todd (Group) Limited, is to ex­pand its pres­ence in the north east and ex­plore fur­ther ac­qui­si­tions across Scot­land and the rest of the UK thanks to a £5.6 mil­lion in­vest­ment of growth cap­i­tal from BGF (the Busi­ness Growth Fund).

This is BGF’s eighth in­vest­ment in Scot­land, one which brings its cur­rent Scot­tish in­vest­ment to­tal to more than £42m. BGF is in­vest­ing £5.6m to fund ac­qui­si­tions, in­crease man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity and sup­port sales growth. It has taken a mi­nor­ity stake and Bob Bran­nan will join the board as chair­man.

Bran­nan brings a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in the con­sumer goods and ser­vice sec­tors. He is the cur­rent chair­man of Vets Now and the Wil­liam Jack­son Food Group and for­mer roles in­clude be­ing chair­man of Ben Sher­man and group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Whyte & Mackay. BGF se­nior in­vest­ment man­ager Pa­trick Gra­ham has also been ap­pointed to the board.

Dun­can& Todd was es­tab­lished in 1973, has a turnover of over £10m and em­ploys 182 staff. It was the sub­ject of a man­age­ment buy­out in 2007 led by cur­rent man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Frances Dun­can, who has been with the busi­ness for al­most 30 years.

The chain cur­rently has 23 re­tail stores spread across Scot­land from St An­drews in Fife to Wick in Caith- ness. Its ex­pan­sion will be banked by the Royal Bank of Scot­land’s Health­care di­vi­sion.

Frances Dun­can said: “This growth cap­i­tal in­jec­tion from BGF al­lows me to fo­cus on bring­ing our goals to fruition.

“It was im­por­tant to find a longterm in­vestor of the right qual­ity. The team at BGF share the same val­ues and goals as the Dun­can & Todd team and we look for­ward to work­ing to­gether.”

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