Survitec Group executives

Survitec's Norwegian acquisition doubles firm's operations

12 June 2017

Barclays finance supports Northern Ireland's biggest deal in recent years.

Barclays has assisted the Dunmurry and London-based Survitec Group in an acquisition which will double its global Marine business, and a financial deal which is believed to be one of the largest and most complex deals achieved in Northern Ireland within recent years.

Survitec began operations in Dunmurry in 1952 as RFD Ltd, and is now a clear market-leader in marine life-saving equipment and solutions, with an annual turnover approaching £450m and an extensive footprint around the world. The Group’s Finance headquarters remains local, with manufacturing operations both here and in England, alongside a comprehensive network of over 80 service centres in 30 countries and a broad base of blue chip customers.

Barclays is providing an incremental £20million working capital uplift, helping the company to acquire the safety businesses of Norway-based firm, Wilhelmsen, which includes a successful life raft rental and fire suppression equipment and servicing business centred out of Norway but located across the globe. The deal is seen as a positive indicator of Northern Ireland’s ongoing economic potential in an international market.

As well as assisting with this complex refinancing, Barclays has been appointed as the Survitec Group operational banking partner, to provide accounts, payments and ancillary banking service requirements with the relationship managed locally in Belfast.

In speaking about the development, Chris Bates, Chief Financial Officer, Survitec Group, said that the decision to select Barclays was aided by the bank’s experienced, local team, coupled with the necessary international expertise to support its overseas trade. He said: “The Wilhelmsen acquisition is a major step for the Survitec Group and Barclays was selected to support with debt facilities and to become the house bank following a competitive process. The local relationship team, with expertise in managing complex banking relationships demonstrated a clear understanding of the business requirements and delivered the on-boarding process quickly and efficiently.”

Graeme MacLaughlin, Relationship Director, Barclays Northern Ireland, added: “Barclays is delighted to partner with Survitec Group on what is one of the most significant acquisition financings for a local firm in the last few years. Survitec is an international business with significant manufacturing facilities in Northern Ireland, and we are delighted to be supporting their continued growth.”

The Survitec Group has an extensive manufacturing and testing facility in Dunmurry, which is the Group’s centre of excellence for marine and aviation survival solutions and the global leader in the Marine and Offshore, Oil & Gas sectors.

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