|West Midlands-based infrastructure, galvanising and building and construction products group Hill & Smith Holdings PLC (Hill & Smith) has announced today that it has agreed to purchase Creative Pultrusions, Inc. a leading US manufacturer of glass reinforced plastic ("GRP") products.
The group has agreed a price of $21m (£11.3m) payable in cash, for 100% of the share capital, free of debt and cash. The business, founded 35 years ago, supplies markets which include infrastructure products, transportation and utilities, construction, bridges and access systems.
Creative Pultrusions is known as an industry leader, offering high-strength pultruded products designed and manufactured to provide lasting performance in highly corrosive environments. Easily fabricated, the components offer corrosion resistance and light weight benefits when compared to traditional materials.
The business, which supplied the cable supports for 783 miles of cables and optic fibres in the Channel Tunnel, lays claim to be the world's most innovative manufacturer of glass reinforced polymer composites.
Hill & Smith, through its UK subsidiary Redman Fisher, already had an established trading relationship with Creative Pultrusions as a result of a marketing and manufacturing agreement entered into in 2006.
This agreement enabled Redman Fisher to manufacture pultruded GRP products at its Telford factory in the UK. Creative Pultrusions has over the last two years been providing technological assistance to support Redman Fisher and will now play a key role in the expansion of the group's product offering.
Pennsylvania based Creative Pultrusions, which has 185 employees, reported annual sales of $32.7m (£17.6m) in the year ended 31 August 2007, the latest year for which audited results are available.
Hill & Smith already has a major presence in the US providing a comprehensive range of products and solutions for the maintenance and improvement of the transport infrastructure, oil and gas, power generation and health and safety sectors.
The acquisition brings more international opportunities globally for the group, as Hill & Smith chief executive Derek Muir explains: "We are delighted to be announcing the acquisition of this high quality company, which represents a major step in the continuing development of our overseas businesses.
"Creative Pultrusions will significantly add to the product offering of our Infrastructure Products division. It is a highly innovative business with excellent customer relationships.
"This company's capability to provide creative solutions and products using alternative and lighter materials will complement our offering in the US and in particular benefit our operations in the UK and mainland Europe.
"This makes it a great fit for our core businesses and we see it as a high growth opportunity for the group as a whole."
The principal shareholder of the Creative Pultrusions business, Robert D Sweet Jr, has stepped down as chairman and chief executive but is to remain as a consultant. Shane Weyant, formerly chief operating officer, is now chief executive and the remainder of the management team remains in place.
Hill & Smith recently announced a 45.5 per cent rise in underlying profit before taxation (prior to reorganisation, property items and the amortisation of acquisition intangibles) for the six months to 30 June 2008. The group's sales revenues were up by 50 per cent to £264.1m in the half year due to its acquisition of a controlling interest in Zinkinvent in July 2007 and strong organic growth.
Creative Pultrusions is the second major business to have been acquired by the group this year. In July 2008, the group completed the final phase of its 100% acquisition of international galvaniser and fabricator Zinkinvent, which has substantial galvanising operations in Europe and the USA.
"We believe that our latest acquisition will be earnings enhancing and will add value to our operations around the world including those in the UK and mainland Europe," said Mr Muir.
Hill & Smith Holdings PLC
Derek Muir (Chief Executive)
+44 (0)121 704 7430
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Freshwater UK PLC
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