Dunmurry firm’s acquisition doubles global presence

Survitec chief financial officer Chris Bates with Graeme MacLaughlin of Barclays NI and Steve Unger, group treasurer for the Survitec Group
Survitec chief financial officer Chris Bates with Graeme MacLaughlin of Barclays NI and Steve Unger, group treasurer for the Survitec Group

Survitec Group, a Dunmurry based marine safety business, has doubled its global reach with the acquisition of Norwegian rival Wilhelmsen, in what is claimed to be one of the largest and most complex deals achieved in Northern Ireland within recent years.

The firm which designs and manufactures liferafts and marine life-saving equipment has an annual turnover approaching £450m and an extensive footprint around the world.

The deal was assisted by Barclays which is providing an incremental £20 million working capital uplift, helping the company to acquire the safety businesses of the Norwegian firm, which includes a successful life raft rental and fire suppression equipment and servicing business operating around the globe.

The deal is seen as a positive indicator of Northern Ireland’s ongoing economic potential in an international market.

As well as assisting with the refinancing, Barclays has been appointed as the group’s operational banking partner, to provide accounts, payments and ancillary banking service requirements with the relationship managed locally in Belfast.

“The Wilhelmsen acquisition is a major step for the Survitec Group and Barclays was selected to support with debt facilities and to become the house bank following a competitive process,” said Survitec CFO Chris Bates.

Graeme MacLaughlin, relationship director with Barclays, added: “We are delighted to partner with Survitec Group on what is one of the most significant acquisition financings for a local firm in the last few years. Survitec is an international business with significant manufacturing facilities in Northern Ireland, and we are delighted to be supporting their continued growth.”