Elaghmore Partners LLP, the UK-focused private equity firm, has acquired Priden Engineering Limited (“Priden”), one of the UK’s leading engineering companies, for an undisclosed multi-million-pound sum. Based in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, Priden delivers bespoke engineering solutions to leading companies in a host of sectors including Pneumatic Vehicles, Commercial Bodies, Truck and Bus, Food Industrial Engineering as well as providing financial services for customers of its truck and trailer division.
Founded in 1988, Priden Engineering provides among other things a complete range of aluminium and stainless-steel products for commercial vehicles, stainless steel systems for the food industry such as individual machines and full production lines and is the chief supplier of blowing equipment to the animal feed sector. The business has four factories situated on more than four acres and a 100-strong workforce. Elaghmore has bought Priden from its management who will remain with the business.
Elaghmore will provide financial backing to grow Priden into a national business in the total vehicle solution market and to develop and expand its food engineering business. Priden Engineering will remain an independent company, however, it will work closely with another Elaghmore business, SB Components, which was acquired in December 2016. Also based in Wisbech, SB Components, has grown into the UK’s leading supplier of bespoke components for commercial vehicles. Since its acquisition, the business has delivered exceptional growth and this year will deliver a record level of sales and profitability.
The combined Priden and SB Components business will employ 250 people and have sales of more than £40 million per annum.
Priden is the third acquisition made by Elaghmore from its initial private equity fund, Elaghmore I (Fund 1) which closed at the end of 2016, raising £60 million. The fund was oversubscribed, and the investors are a mixture of US and European institutions. The investment strategy of Fund 1 is focused on UK-headquartered industrial businesses that present a significant opportunity for growth and value creation.
Led by David Manning, Andy Ducker, David Morley and Greg Koral, Elaghmore Partners has a strong track record over the past decade for investing in and successfully growing businesses, including Chaucer Foods, mainly through operational transformation. Fund 1 was launched to capitalise on the partners’ successful track record and their strong operational expertise. The first acquisition was SB Components, and the second, was Kesslers, one of Europe’s leading designers and manufacturers of retail displays and merchandising for world-famous brands and leading UK high street retailers.
Andy Ducker, Founding Partner at Elaghmore, said: “Priden Engineering is a business with a strong history, good reputation with customers and excellent prospects for future growth. Our strategy is to build Priden Engineering into a leading national business in the total vehicle solution market and to develop and expand its food engineering business, using our experience from Chaucer Foods. At the same time, we want to help Priden take advantage of opportunities to collaborate and work with the team at SB Components. We are looking forward to working closely with Priden’s management to help realise these goals.”
Commenting on the transaction, Kevin Walker, Director, Priden, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for our staff and customers. With Elaghmore, Priden now has a strong financial backer, with a track record of growing businesses, who can help us build on our successful work and take us to the next level of our development. By working closely with another thriving local company, SB Components, it means we can achieve our ambition of establishing Priden as a national business and open up new opportunities to bring our engineering expertise to new sectors.”
James Warren, Managing Director, SB Components, added: “Since our acquisition by Elaghmore in December 2016, the business has gone from strength to strength. Our focus is on delivering great products and customer service, and we look forward to working closely with the team at Priden to meet the needs of existing customers and develop new market areas together.”
Elaghmore was advised by Mills & Reeve LLP