Levity Cropscience, a Preston-based R&D company specialising in sustainable agricultural products, has secured a six-figure equity investment from two high-profile backers with managing director David Marks telling Insider that the deal “gives us the finance and experience to get things off the ground”.
The company has been boosted by an investment from Mike Peters and Mick Weston for a combined six-figure sum. A 30 per cent stake in the business has been sold to the pair while the remaining 70 per cent remains in family hands.
Peters and Weston are also both joining the company’s board.
The money will be used to fund Levity’s R&D programme as its first-stage products start to hit the market. According to Marks, the export-led company will turn over approximately £500,000 this year.
He said: “It’s a really good deal for us. It gives us the finance and experience to get things off the ground.
“Our sales are really taking off and that takes a lot of management time. We’re flying all around the world to get our products out there, and we’re in negotiations with two multinationals.
“To get these deals over the line it takes a lot of time so we need people with the experience to get us there.
“We’re really proud to have these people coming onboard. It’s not just about the money, they’re giving their time to us as well.”
Peters, who was awarded an MBE in 2013 for services to North West industry, joins Levity as commercial director. He has a strong track record in the chemical manufacturing industry.
At UPL, Peters built a £38m-turnover company with a staff of 250 and has taken multiple companies from start-up through to sale.
Peters said: “My expertise is in getting the very best out of a business and its team, building the best team to run the business for long-term stability and profitability.
“I have a passion for British manufacturing. Levity is an exciting company with great ideas and a solid plan for growth and the products and talent to succeed.
“Levity is a British business that is developing world class products and exporting all over the world. I am looking forwards to working with founders David and Anna [Weston] to help establish Levity as a global player in the fertiliser industry”.
Meanwhile, Weston brings a track record of managing large projects in the third sector, gained in his 20 years as head of operations at Lancashire Wildlife Trust. He has been responsible for getting large-scale infrastructure projects from inception through to completion such as the 262ha Brockholes nature reserve.
Weston said: “My skills are in getting large projects off the ground, and it is great to be involved in helping complete some of Levity’s ambitious projects to help improve sustainability in world agriculture.”