3i increases stake in AES Engineering

Private equity giant 3i has increased its stake in Yorkshire-based mechanical sealing specialist AES Engineering from around 25 to 40 per cent.

The secondary investment follows 3i’s original investment in AES in 1996, and values the company at £100 million.

CEO Chris Rea, who founded AES in 1979, will retain a majority interest and control of the business.

Coinciding with the increased investment, Hamdi Conger, previously non-executive director, will become chairman of AES. Richard Bishop joins the board as a non-executive director, and Neil MacDonald, formerly finance director at international engineering group Firth Rixson, becomes the company’s new finance director.

Former leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague, remains a non-executive director.

The company’s management was advised by Deloitte Corporate Finance. Martin Jenkins, partner at Deloitte, comments: ‘AES has developed from a start-up 25 years ago to a business operating from over 60 sites in 30 countries, which is now the fourth largest mechanical seals company in the world with exports to 83 countries.’

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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