Clearwater advises on engineering company MBI


Stockport-based engineering company Hima-Sella has undergone a management buy-in.

Clearwater Corporate Finance advised the owners – the three directors and the German company Hima – on the deal.

Hima-Sella employs 80 people and supplies engineering and software solutions to sectors such as oil, gas, rail and defence. Its key customers include such names as BP, Statoil, Occidental, Ineos, Corus and Metronet Rail.

The deal gives control of the business to the new management team. Ian Wright takes over as managing director, John Blackwell as finance director and Eddy Turnock as sales and marketing director. The team have all come to Hima-Sella from Transmitton, a Siemens company.

Established as Sella Controls over 30 years ago, the company was the subject of a management buy-out in 1994 in which one of the company’s principal suppliers, HIMA Paul Hildebrandt Gmbh + Co KG (Hima), took a 25 per cent stake in the business. The business subsequently changed its name to Hima-Sella.

The deal provides an exit for Hima and the original MBO team – managing director Peter Garland, sales director Jeff Dolan and production director Mike HIbbert, who have spent ten years building the business. It was financed with a substantial package from the company’s bankers, The Co-operative Bank. In addition the four exiting shareholders will retain a minority share in the business and Peter Garland will continue as non-executive director.

The Clearwater team was led by Carl Houghton and Constantine Billier from the Manchester office. Carl Houghton said: “Hima-Sella has a strong track record in the engineering sector, having won many awards and accreditations, and solid opportunities for growth in both new and existing markets.

“The buy-in will provide an exit for Hima and the management team, who have been very successful in building the business over the past 13 years. It will also secure the company’s future by giving control to an experienced management team who are able to exploit the opportunities to take the business forward.”

Halliwells provided legal advice to the vendors, while Friend LLP and Harvey Ingram LLP advised the buy-in team. GT Consulting carried out due diligence.