Specialist technical fluid power products supplier Flowtech Fluidpower has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of Balu and its trading subsidiaries, Beaumanor and Derek Lane, for a total consideration of approximately £10.2m, it announced on Wednesday.
The AIM-traded firm said Beaumanor was founded in 1974, and acts as an importer and distributor of fluid power equipment in the UK.

It said the Beaumanor business was based in Leicester and employed 44 staff.

Derek Lane was founded in 1979 and acts as a supplier of fluid power products and engineered solutions, with the business based in Newton Abbot, Devon, employing 28 staff.

The unaudited financial statements of Balu for the year to 31 January showed revenues of £11.4m and pro forma EBIT of £1.4m.

Unaudited net assets excluding net debt at the same date were £5.9m.

Flowtech said the acquisition would provide a further complementary business to the group, creating a co-ordinated approach to three major catalogue brands in the UK market place.

The acquisition also widened the target customer base using separate trading 'styles' from the same platform, and will replicate the Flowtechnology model to deliver cost and service synergies.

It would also create a second logistics centre in Leicester, to deliver stock optimisation and supply chain improvements across the group, as well as establish a substantial operational site in the important Midlands region of the UK, operationally de-risking the main Skelmersdale site.

As part of the transaction, Flowtech also announced that Zeus Capital and finnCap co-ordinated a firm placing and conditional placing to raise up to £11m by way of the issue of an aggregate 6,470,589 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 170p each, with certain existing and new institutional and other professional investors.

Those net funds raised, in addition to the cash consideration for the acquisition, would be used to strengthen the balance sheet, Flowtech's board said.

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Balu which brings together three major catalogue brands in the UK market place and again widens the customer base we serve,” said Flowtech Fluidpower CEO Sean Fennon.

“It also gives us the opportunity to add a second logistics centre in Leicester which should deliver stock optimisation and supply chain improvements across the group and operationally de-risk the main Skelmersdale site.

“We are also pleased to announce the successful placing to raise £11m which demonstrates clear support from both new and existing shareholders for our ongoing strategy to develop a focused fluid power group that serves a wide number of industry sectors.”