Historic Yorkshire industrial firm sold for £365m

ONE of Yorkshire’s oldest industrial companies has been sold for £365m.

Melrose Industries has signed an agreement for the disposal of Doncaster-based Bridon to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP).

Bridon was founded in 1924 and recorded total sales last year of £266.4m. It can trace its roots back to a rope works which was established in Doncaster in 1789.

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Today, the company makes specialist cables, ties and wires for the mining construction and energy industries. It has been owned by Melrose since 2008.

The total consideration of £365m, on a debt and cash free basis, is payable in cash on completion subject to adjustments. As part of the transaction, Melrose will contribute £6.7m into the Bridon Group 2013 Pension Scheme, which will remain with Bridon after the disposal.

Melrose intends to use the proceeds to pay down borrowings and to finance a return of capital. The disposal is conditional upon anti-trust clearances and is expected to complete before the end of 2014.

Simon Peckham, the chief executive of Melrose, said: “Bridon is an excellent example of the Melrose ‘buy, improve, sell’ model at work.

“It demonstrates our ability to create substantial value for shareholders by investing heavily in our businesses and improving operational performance. Since the acquisition of FKI in 2008, we have successfully grown and developed the Bridon business into a premier supplier of critical high-performance ropes for energy, mining and industrial applications. We have every confidence that Bridon will continue its success under the ownership of OTPP.”

Rothschild is acting as lead financial adviser to Melrose.