Industrials Sector Comment – January 2014


Today’s marine safety industry is evolving quickly, as the major manufacturers and service providers respond to the changing needs of an increasingly global shipping market. Furthermore, a growing demand for protective equipment is being driven by increased levels of safety regulation and enforcement around the world.

Given the positive outlook for this sector, it is hardly surprising that the M&A market is also seeing activity. Recently, Sheffield-based marine safety and equipment supplier International Mining and Marine (IM&M) underwent a management buyout backed by a seven-figure finance package from HSBC. The company has been acquired by existing director and general manager Mark Westerman, who has increased his stake in the business from 25% to 87.5%. Company founder Alan Justice will retain a 12.5% shareholding. IM&M specialises in supplying safety equipment to merchant vessels involved in the shipping of oil and gas, chemicals and cargo, with a particular niche in the supply of gas detection equipment.

Tyneside business Marine Safety Supplies Ltd was recently acquired in another transaction by PTR Holland BV, a global leader in the supply of marine safety equipment internationally. PTR is the world’s largest manufacturer of marine-use rope ladders, with divisions in the Netherlands and Singapore as well as major warehousing facilities in destinations such as China, Brazil and the USA. PTR Holland is now expanding its Tyneside-based acquisition by adding a second site and will use its large international network to help develop the UK business, enabling Marine Safety Supplies to operate on a much larger scale.


World Fuel Services Corp is to acquire Watson Petroleum Ltd, a distributor of gasoline, diesel, heating oil, lubricants and related products and services across England and Wales, for £117m. The transaction will further solidify Watson’s position as one of the largest distributors of ground-based fuels in the UK and will provide a platform for further growth in the ground fuels space in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

Exova Group Ltd has acquired Catalyst Environmental Ltd, a stack emissions testing specialist in the UK and Ireland. The company, which will become Exova Catalyst, will add six facilities and 58 personnel to Exova’s existing network of over 3,600 specialists worldwide.

Spirax Sarco Engineering plc has acquired Bio Pure Technology Ltd, a specialist in the design and production of advanced single-use tubing connector systems for the biopharmaceutical industry. The company will operate as part of Watson-Marlow Pumps Group strengthening its presence in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical markets.

Dutch Private Equity firm Value Enhancement Partners has acquired Stork Technical Services Aberdeen, an offshore services provider. The company will be merged with its Dutch peer N-Sea, with the new entity seeing a turnover of €75m.

Rentokil Initial plc is to acquire the pest division of Green Compliance plc for a consideration of £4m. The divestment for Green Compliance is in line with its strategy to focus on the water and fire detection and suppression markets.

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP has invested £5m for a majority stake in R&M Engineering Ltd, a provider of integrated engineering and fabrication services to the North Sea oil and gas industry. The investment is the sixth new deal Maven’s Aberdeen team has completed this year.

Babcock International Group plc has acquired Context Information Security Ltd, a specialist technical consultancy service provider, for £28m plus a deferred consideration of £4m payable in 2016. The acquisition will significantly augment Babcock’s capabilities to provide support and assurance in the delivery of resilient solutions to customer issues.

RPC Group plc has acquired Maynard & Harris Group Ltd, a supplier of rigid plastic packaging to the personal care, healthcare and selected food segments, for a total deal value of £103.5m. The acquisition will enhance RPC’s personal care product offering in the UK, mainland Europe and the US.

Global Energy Group plc has acquired Cunningham Construction Pty Ltd, a resource management provider to the Australian mining sector. The acquisition strengthens the building of a strategic portfolio of specialist services for the Australia and Asia Pacific region.

Oxford Instruments plc is to acquire Andor Technology plc, a developer of high-value global scientific digit cameras for approx. £176m. Oxford Instruments has been pursuing the smaller optics company for much of the past year and will now be able to expand its capabilities in the fast growing nano-bio field.

Walsall Pressings Company Ltd has acquired DRB Holdings Ltd, a provider of comprehensive metal pressing, manufacturing and toolmaking services to consumer electronics and industrial products manufacturers. Walsall Pressings will now aim to capitalise on the projections of sustained growth within the automotive industry having gained access to DRB Engineering’s long standing Tier 2 relationships with key customers.

DMC Business Machines plc has acquired Canotec Ltd, one of Canon UK’s top Advanced Solution Partners delivering managed print services and document solutions. The combined group becomes one of Canon’s largest and most advanced independent suppliers of print and document solutions in the UK and Europe.

Dunedin Capital Partners Ltd has acquired Kee Safety Ltd, a global safety business specialised in personal and collective fall protection solutions, for £90m. Dunedin’s stake in the business was acquired from LDC and the company will now focus on further international expansion.

Acal plc has acquired RSG Electronic Components GmbH, a German based supplier and specialist distributor of custom power solutions, designing and supplying products such as a custom power supply for wind turbine blade pitch control systems and a power unit for high power industrials lasers. The acquisition will enhance Acal’s power capabilities in Germany.

Senior plc has acquired Thermal Engineering Holding Ltd, an aerospace components manufacturer supplying global aero-engine and airframe OEM’s and their Tier 1 suppliers, for £28.3m. The acquisition will provide additional capacity in areas of Hot Forming and Insulation.

Dennis Eagle Ltd is establishing a joint-venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd, a Hong-Kong listed Chinese vehicle builder. The JV will be with Brilliance’s Specialist Vehicles division based in Dalian, China.

Huhtamaki Oyj has acquired BCP Fluted Packaging Ltd, a company specialised in corrugated packaging for the foodservice, confectionery and cosmetics market. The acquisition will enable Huhtamaki to continue to implement its strategy of quality growth and expand its product offering.

Chromallloy Gas Turbine Corporation has acquired Trac Group Ltd, a Tier 1 component supplier to the aerospace and energy industries. The acquisition is in line with Chromalloy’s strategy to increase support for the new engine supply chain.

Indutrade AB has acquired Verplas Ltd, a manufacturer and distributor of rigid and flexible ventilation products, for approx. £8m. The acquisition strengthens Indutrade’s position in the UK.

Atlas Copco AB has acquired Tentec Ltd, a developer and marketer of bolt tightening solutions. The acquisition broadens Atlas Copco’s range of products and services offered to the oil and gas, power generation and mining industries.

Chesapeake Services Ltd and Multi Packaging Solutions Inc have agreed to merge the two businesses to create a leading global provider of print-based specialty packaging. The combined manufacturing footprint and technological capabilities will position the company to match customer needs, with a broader range of products and operational flexibility.

WS Atkins plc is to acquire Nuclear Safety Associates Inc, an engineering and technical services firm – which employs 130 people – with a focus on nuclear safety, design engineering and professional security services. The acquisition is in line with WS Atkins’ strategy to be one of the world’s leading energy consultancies.

Diploma plc is to acquire Kentek Oy, an engineering services and component company. Diploma will now focus on developing the business further.

Northbridge Industrial Services plc has acquired the trade and assets of Oilfield Material Management Ltd, a rental provider of drilling tools for the oil and gas industry to customers in the Middle East, North Africa and the CIS. The acquisition complements Tasman Oil Tools Pty Ltd, Northbridge’s Australian business and expands the company’s presence in the Middle Eastern market.

High Technology Lighting Ltd has acquired Creative LED Solutions Ltd, a supplier of energy-efficient lighting solutions. The acquisition is part of High Technology Lighting’s plans to grow its market share and expand its in-house technical experience.

John Wood Group plc is to acquire Elkhorn Holdings Inc, a Wyoming-based provider of construction services for the midstream oil & gas facilities in the UK shale market. Elkhorn will operate within Wood Group PSN and further develop Wood Group’s US shale business.

Private equity firm CBPE has acquired Allied Glass Containers Ltd, a glass bottle manufacturer. The transaction provided an exit for private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe Ltd.