Groupe Atlantic buys Ideal Boilers

A LONG-established Yorkshire-based boiler firm is now under French ownership.

Groupe Atlantic has completed the acquisition of Hull-based Ideal Boilers from Bregal Capital for an undisclosed sum.

Ideal Boilers, which has 500 staff and posted revenue of around £200m in 2014, has been a major employer in Hull for more than a century. It is the third largest company in the UK market for domestic wall-mounted boilers, with annual sales of around 300,000 Ideal brand boilers. French firm Groupe Atlantic is a major European player in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning sector. It reported revenue of almost €1bn in 2014.

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A Groupe Atlantic spokesman said: “This acquisition will substantially increase the group’s international business.

“The UK represents half of the total European market for domestic wall-mounted condensing boilers, and it is the largest market for commercial wall-mounted boilers.

“The UK is also the fourth largest market for air-water heat pumps, a segment in which Groupe Atlantic holds the leadership position in France.

“The Ideal Boilers acquisition illustrates our strategy of accelerating international growth and consolidating our multi-product and multi-energy line-up.

“It demonstrates our determination to become a significant player in the very promising market for wall-mounted gas condensing boilers.”

Founded in France in 1968, Groupe Atlantic has 4,500 employees and 17 manufacturing sites, including nine in France.

Mick Coppin, an officer from the GMB union, which represents many of the workers on the Ideal Boilers site, said he was not “overly concerned” in terms of any risk to jobs, because the business was doing well.

Founded in Hull as the National Radiator Company in 1905, Ideal Boilers led the way in introducing central heating into low-priced homes. Over the years, it has attracted a number of Royal visitors, including the Duke of Edinburgh in 1948. In 2013, the company received a Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation.