Ladder and access equipment manufacturer Abru has been acquired by Werner Co, the US ladder-maker, based in Pennsylvania.
Abru, with a manufacturing and distribution base in Belper, Derbyshire supplies products to wholesalers, merchants and retailers, including B&Q, Homebase, Argos and Wilkinsons. It had previously been identified by owner the Vaillant Group as non-core.
Werner Co is a private equity backed business with a $600 million turnover which is the market leader in the US and the largest ladder business in the world, making fibreglass, aluminium and wood climbing products. Buying Abru will provide a UK and European base to continue the US firm’s global growth.
Vaillant was advised by Catalyst Corporate Finance, the international corporate finance advisory firm.
“Initial offers for the business were made in late 2008, however, when the outlook for the business became more uncertain due to the downturn in market conditions we advised that the two preferred buyers should be stood down to allow management to focus on dealing with the operational issues of the business”, says Partner Keith Pickering, who along with Leigh Daveran led the deal to completion.