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Tycoon eyes “unloved and unwanted” investments

A Manchester-born entrepreneur, who started his commercial life in the city’s clothing industry before going on to become a successful turnaround investor on the world stage, has told Insider how he is eyeing opportunities in the North West and wider UK.

Michael Flacks, who grew up in Cheetham Hill and maintains a home in Manchester alongside bases in Miami, New York and Monaco, established Flacks Group in 1983.

The business specialises in the acquisition and operational turnaround of medium-sized businesses in complex situations and such has been its success that Flacks was ranked in 239th position in the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

Earlier this month, Flacks Group hit the headlines when it acquired a former manufacturing site in the North East which it plans to revitalise with renewable energy projects.

More UK investments are on the agenda, Flacks said.

“We are looking at old school industries such as supply chain businesses in the aviation and automotive sector that are out of fashion today with private equity,” he said.

Component producing firms were of particular interest, the entrepreneur added.

“People maybe don’t realise that the UK is probably the number three global supplier in aviation components. It is hugely focused on the UK’s North West region.”

“We are looking for companies that have fallen out of favour with the multinationals that own them,” he added.

Flacks described a typical investment target as being “unloved and unwanted”.

The UK’s attraction to Flacks was the strength of the pound and the fact that its main business is away from Europe, “supplying Asia and the US”.

“We see a lot of low hanging fruit in the UK.”

Flacks added that the same principles he had applied to the clothing industry in Manchester had served him well as he moved into different sectors and geographies.

“We were buying seconds from manufacturing factories in the North West. The only difference now is we do it with companies globally and with huge real estate developments.”