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Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc : Specialist glass manufacturer Romag invests for the future

12/15/2011 | 11:16am US/Eastern
Specialist glass manufacturer Romag invests for the future 14 December 2011

County Durham-based Romag, one of Europe's leading suppliers of specialist glass, is to spend almost £1m on state-of-the-art machinery unique to the UK as the firm's management continues their ambitious strategy of quality-driven growth. The near-£1m investment is part of a wider £2m programme that has allowed the firm to expand production at its factory in Leadgate, Consett, as well as take on 20 new members of staff (10% of its workforce). The bespoke funding deal was put together by the Newcastle-based Corporate & Institutional Banking team at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS CIB).

Specialising in solar photovoltaic, architectural, security and transport glass, Romag is seen as an expert in its industry and is trusted worldwide to provide high quality, UK-manufactured products meeting the needs of a diverse customer base. The firm has been in the North East since 1943 and a subsidiary of Sunderland-based conglomerate Gentoo Group since April of this year. Gentoo has been a customer of Royal Bank of Scotland for over 10 years; the Newcastle RBS CIB team became Romag's day-to-day corporate banking partner earlier this year.

Romag's latest investment involves a £815k facility from RBS' Lombard division to buy a hi-tech Japanese processing machine which will dramatically improve efficiencies and manufacturing capability at its factory. The aim is to supply ultra-high-quality products that the meet the demands of its global clients. Along with Lombard, a number of other RBS divisions helped facilitate the deal: RBS Global Transaction Services was used to provide advice on importing the machine from Japan while RBS CIB's foreign exchange unit helped with currency interchange.

Additional staff will be working in Romag's glass production and supporting departments as the firm gears up to supply its specialist glass products. Additionally, Romag is set to continue the investment at its Consett site with further capital purchases planned for the New Year.

Sean Brodie, Romag's finance director, said: "This year has been a definitive year for the firm, illustrated succinctly by the delivery of the new state-of-the-art machine. This will substantially increase Romag's production firepower and help us reach more clients and service our existing client base even further. I've been delighted with Royal Bank of Scotland's help in putting the funding and related facilities together and look forward to working with the RBS team in Newcastle in the future."

Graham Robinson, relationship director for RBS CIB in Newcastle, said: "Romag and the Gentoo Group are welcome success stories in the North East and we have worked hard to make sure these companies thrive and grow on the local, national and international stage. We value clients extremely highly and the bespoke package that RBS CIB put together using multiple teams in the RBS group shows how effectively we can support firms looking to maximise opportunities."

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