Caledonia Investments plc said on Monday it acquired a majority stake in Hunmanby, North Yorkshire-based Deep Sea Electronics Ltd in a transaction that values the business at £162.0m.
DSE’s products are used worldwide to support public sector infrastructure projects and defence applications, as well as diverse applications across industry sectors, including oil and gas, telecoms, construction, power distribution and facilities management.
DSE was founded in 1975 by Ed Sheader, who was joined in 1980 by co-owner Stan Archer.
DSE has been led by managing director David Thomson since 2012. It has 170 employees and operates globally, selling to 150 countries.
Caledonia said it has subscribed £117.2 million for a 98.9% equity stake and has also provided a short-term bridging loan of £50 million, which will be replaced in due course by external bank debt.
The management team has invested £1.7 million for the remaining equity.
In the financial year to May 31, 2018, DSE reported a profit before tax of £12.8 million on turnover of £37.8 million.
“The acquisition represents the largest initial investment by Caledonia’s unquoted pool since its inception in 2011 and is consistent with Caledonia’s strategy of investing in well-established private companies, with proven management teams, seeking long-term growth capital,” said the investment company.
Duncan Johnson, Caledonia’s head of unquoted investments, said: “We are proud to have become the new owners of DSE and to partner David Thomson and his team in the next stage of the company’s development.
“DSE’s consistently strong profitability, high cash generation and leading market position ideally fit our unquoted pool’s investment criteria.
“We believe there are exciting opportunities to build further on DSE’s excellent record and to expand its global presence.”
DSE managing director David Thomson said: “With Caledonia’s financial support, flexibility and long-term investment horizon, I am confident that we can build on DSE’s well-established reputation for product quality, technical capability and customer service to take advantage of the significant growth potential in our chosen markets.”
Ed Sheader and Stan Archer, co-owners of DSE, said: “As co-owners of DSE for nearly 40 years, we were keen to find a buyer who would be committed to the long-term development of the business and secure employment opportunities for the workforce.
“We are therefore delighted to pass the company on to Caledonia, with its backing by the Cayzer family and reputation as a long-term, supportive investor, and wish them and David Thomson and his team every success in the future.”