Safety First in Electra Buyout

BTP plc in October sold its safety equipment division to Electra Fleming for GBP100 million (ecu 142 million) cash. The acquisition was effected through Capital Safety Group, a new company formed for the purpose.

The acquired business is the leading worldwide manufacturer and distributor of industrial fall protection equipment. The company made GBP10.2 million operating profits on sales of GBP54.1 million in the year to March 1998.

Electra Fleming director Charles St John said the transaction was 50% geared.

Electra Fleming underwrote a majority of the equity component alongside Robert Fleming, who, together with Bank of Scotland, also provided senior debt for the deal. Management have subsequently subscribed for an undisclosed interest in Capital Safety Group.

David Symondson, also a director of Electra Fleming, said “We are investing in a business that is a world leader in a market that has good long-term growth prospects assisted by continuing development and enforcement of workplace safety legislation worldwide”.

Charles St John said the company would boost its expansion through a programme of small “in-fill” acquisitions to increase its geographic coverage.