Industrials sector comment – March 2012


Phoenix Equity Partners has demonstrated the high level of private equity interest in UK manufacturing with the £75m buy-in management buy-out (BIMBO) of Gall Thomson.

The Great Yarmouth-based company is a world leader in the production of marine breakaway couplings. It has developed a reputation as the industry standard for offshore liquid hose transfer systems and supplies products to all of the world’s major oil companies. Its product range also includes KLAW breakaway couplings used in the safe transfer of hazardous materials in the oil and gas and petrochemicals industries. The company generates over £10m EBITDA on revenues of around £20m.

The transaction provides an exit for Lupus Capital plc which will now be able to focus on its building products division which includes window and door component manufacturers Amesbury, Grouphomesafe and Schlegel.


Mannington Mills Inc has acquired Amtico International Ltd, a UK manufacturer of vinyl flooring products. The acquisition will broaden the US group’s North American manufacturing base and widen its global reach. The transaction provides an exit for UK private equity firm AAC Capital.

Atlantic Group Ltd has acquired Avocet Hardware Ltd, a UK supplier of hinges, locks and other builders hardware. The acquisition from the administrator will expand the group’s range of hardware products which includes chain sand ropes, fasteners, fixings and general hardware.

Rototherm Group Ltd has acquired Canongate Technology Ltd, a UK developer and manufacturer of density and level instrumentation. The acquisition will enhance Rototherm’s range of products for beverage, LPG, pharmaceutical and refrigeration applications.

Avingtrans plc has acquired Composites Engineering Group Ltd (CEG) a UK manufacturer of composite components for the aerospace and motorsport industries. CEG comprises Alpha Composites Ltd, Delta Composites Ltd and Orion Machining Ltd which will comprise the group’s new division, Sigma Composites.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc has acquired the Precious Metals division of Cookson Group plc. The acquisition has been completed by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Richline Group Inc.

Ratioform Verpackungen GmbH has acquired DavPack Ltd, a UK supplier of mail order packaging materials. Ratioform Verpackungen is a pan-European supplier of packaging products by mail order backed by UK private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe, formerly Barclays Private Equity.

Rebound Group Ltd has acquired Easby Electronics Ltd, a UK distributor of connectors, electro-mechanical components and passive electronic components. Easby’s range of products includes batteries, capacitors, connectors and cables, opto-electronic components, protectors, relays, resistors, semiconductors and switches.

Judges Scientific plc has acquired Global Digital Systems Ltd (GDS) a UK developer and manufacturer of geotechnical testing systems. The £7.7m acquisition will add GDS’s range of specialist testing equipment for geological applications to the group’s range of products.

Cape plc has acquired an 80% equity stake in Hong Kong Fuji Technology Ltd (HFT), a Hong Kong-based provider of industrial insulation and treatment services. HFT specialises in grit blasting, painting, refractory linings, scaffolding and thermal insulation services. The £5m acquisition marks the UK group’s expansion into the Far East and Pacific Rim.

Shenzhen Sunway Communication Co Ltd has acquired Laird Technologies (Beijing) Co Ltd from Laird plc. The £20m transaction sees the UK group exit from the remaining assets within its Handset Antennae business.

US private equity firm One Equity Partners has acquired Linpac Allibert Ltd from Linpac Group Ltd. Linpac Allibert is a UK manufacturer of returnable transport packaging equipment including reusable containers and multi-trip systems.

UK private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners has backed the £75m management buy-out of Gall Thomson Environmental Ltd from Lupus Capital plc. Gall Thomson is a manufacturer of marine breakaway couplings.

Dover Corp has acquired Maag Group AG, a Swiss manufacturer of engineered gear pumps, filtration systems and pelletizers for the chemicals, food, petrochemical and plastics industries. The target will be integrated into the US group’s Pump Solutions Group within the Fluid Solutions platform of its Engineered Systems segment. The transaction provides an exit for UK industrial investor Clyde Blowers Capital.

Siemens AG has acquired a majority stake in Marine Current Turbines Ltd, a UK developer and manufacturer of tidal power systems. The acquisition will be integrated into the group’s Solar & Hydro division.

Gabbro Precision Ltd has acquired Midland Precision Ltd, a UK provider of precision engineering services. The £10m transaction will expand Gabbro’s range of precision machined components and assemblies for the oil and gas industry. Gabbro is backed by UK private equity firm Baird Capital Partners.

Pantech Group Holding Bhd has acquired Nautic Steels Ltd, a UK manufacturer of flanges, pipe fittings and pipes. The £9.5m acquisition will reinforce the Malaysian group’s range of exotic products for corrosive, extreme temperature and severe service environments.

UK private equity firm a2e Venture Catalysts has acquired the Muraspec commercial wallcoverings business of OMNOVA Solutions Inc. The disposal will allow the US group to focus on its Performance Chemicals business as well as the coated fabrics, laminates and performance films product lines within its Decorative Products business.

Dutch private equity firm HTP Investments has acquired Oyster Marine Ltd, a UK yacht builder. The transaction includes all of the group’s operating subsidiaries, namely Oyster Marine Ltd, Oyster Brokerage Ltd and Southampton Yacht Services Ltd.

Porvair plc has acquired Pell Industries Inc, a US manufacturer of products for the powder metal industry. The acquisition will be integrated into the UK group’s metals filtration division.

Penny Hydraulics Ltd has acquired R&L Systems Ltd, a UK designer and manufacturer of lifting equipment. The acquisition will expand Penny Hydraulics’ range of specialist hydraulic and winching systems.

iGlass Ltd has acquired Rankins Glass Co Ltd, a UK supplier of glass for the building sector. The acquisition will allow iGlass to expand on its existing range of interior glass products including glass-fronted radiators, shower cladding, splash-backs and worktops.

IMI plc has acquired Remosa SpA, an Italian manufacturer of severe service valves for the downstream petrochemicals industry. The £83m acquisition will complement the UK group’s recent acquisition of German industrial valves manufacturer Zimmermann & Jansen GmbH. The group has also completed the acquisition of InterAtiva Ltd, a Brazilian manufacturer of isolation valves for the ethanol, oil and gas, sugar processing and water treatment industries. The deal is for an initial cash consideration of £22m and a deferred consideration up to a maximum of £21m depending on the company’s performance over the next three years.

XL Group Ltd has acquired the assets of Ross & Bonnyman Ltd, a UK manufacturer of hydraulic lifting equipment. Ross & Bonnyman is a manufacturer of lifting solutions including access ramps, dock levellers, lifting decks, mezzanine lifts and yard lifts for commercial and passenger vehicles.

Global Energy Group Ltd has acquired a majority stake in Ross-shire Engineering Ltd, a UK provider of fabrication, design and installation services for complex highly engineered equipment for the oil and gas, power generation, renewable energy and water industries. The acquisition provides Global Energy with control of 51% of Ross-shire Engineering having acquired an initial 30% stake in 2010.

Measurement Devices Ltd (MDL) has acquired Thomas Engineering Ltd, a Canadian supplier of robotic laser positioning and surveying equipment. The acquisition will enhance MDL’s customer relationships in the Canadian aggregates, mining and quarrying industries.

Reservoir Group Ltd has acquired Warren and Christian Inc, a US provider of mudlogging services for the oil and gas industry. The acquisition will be integrated into the UK group’s surface-logging unit, Empirica. Reservoir has also acquired WellTools Ltd, a UK manufacturer of bore tools for the oil and gas industry. The group is backed by US private equity firm SCF Partners.

Low & Bonar plc has acquired Xeroflor International GmbH, a German manufacturer of environmentally-friendly roofing systems. Xeroflor specialises in value-added pre-vegetated mats used in green roof construction in both new and refurbished buildings.

Lufkin Industries Inc has acquired Zenith Oilfield Technology Ltd, a UK supplier of downhole data analysis and monitoring equipment for the oil and gas industry. Zenith specialises in control, data gathering and real-time optimisation systems for oilfield artificial lift applications including electric submersible pumps and progressive cavity pumps.