Gresham backs Olaer buyout

Gresham, the UK mid-market private equity firm, has backed the management buyout of Olaer, a British manufacturer of pressure regulators and coolers for industrial hydraulic markets. The total value of the transaction is estimated to be in excess of US$100m, based on multiples of financials.

Gresham won an auction against both trade and financial interest to purchase the business from Expamet International. Olaer, which is headquartered outside Chester, specialises in the design and assembly of accumulators, cooler/chillers and filter products for industrial hydraulic markets. The company has sales of £70m and profits of £4m.

The market for Olaer’s products is due to grow rapidly following on from the success of wind power and the oil and gas markets. Hydraulic systems are used in diverse applications, for example in earth moving equipment, wind power generation and aircraft braking systems.

Edward Brett led the deal for Gresham together with Neil Scragg, Tim Whittard and Mike Henebery. Acquisition funding was provided by Bank of Ireland, acting as the sole mandated lead arranger.

Gresham tapped Ernst & Young for financial and commercial due diligence services. DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary was Gresham’s legal adviser. Chantry CF and Pinsent Masons advised management. The vendors were advised by David Silver of Robert W Baird.

Gresham has also made a £31m investment, including debt provided by Lloyds TSB, to take a stake in Jackson Lloyd, a provider of maintenance services to local authorities and housing associations in northwest England, where the social housing maintenance market is worth more than £1bn.

Boutique Clearwater Corporate Finance handled the equity sale while Deloitte and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary advised Gresham.

Gresham is backing Jackson’s chief executive, Bill Lloyd, and the current management team, including Dennis and David Cleary. All senior management have bought into the equity of Jackson Lloyd.