Buy-in duo buy ATR

A group that hires specialised tools and equipment to the offshore oil and gas industry has been bought by a management buy-in team.

ATR Group is now controlled by Robert Skidmore and Keith Moorhouse. Until recently Robert was managing director of multi-site builders’ merchant William Wilson and Keith was formerly regional managing director at BSS Group plc.

The deal was backed by Aberdeen Asset Managers Growth Capital, which provided £3.9 million of equity alongside a funding package by The Royal Bank of Scotland. This comprised acquisition funding, working capital and capex facilities.

Skidmore said ATR has strong growth potential due to its strong brand and reputation. “Following rapid and consistent growth over the years, there are significant opportunities both here in the UK and overseas for ATR to exploit. The investment from Aberdeen will enable us to exploit those opportunities and achieve our growth plans for the business.”

The new management team is aiming to double the company’s turnover in the next three years by increasing its workforce and through expanding the business in the UK and overseas in areas such as the East of England, the Caspian region and the Far East.

Aberdeen’s team on the deal was led by investment director Jock Gardiner, who said he is impressed with the buy-in team’s plans for ATR. “ATR is a quality business renowned for its excellent customer service standards and Aberdeen sees great potential for it to continue to develop as the leader in its sector.”

Skidmore and Moorhouse were brought together by Anderson Anderson & Brown, which acted as corporate finance adviser to the buy-in team.

Its team was led by head of corporate finance Mike Brown and manager Douglas Martin. “We initiated the transaction, having been aware of the vendors desire to exit the business,” Brown said.

“ATR has a strong brand and reputation in the oil and gas industry for the provision of offshore tool and equipment hire and hydraulic services and as a result has significant growth potential,” he added. “The acquisition provides the buy-in team with an excellent platform as the group is well positioned to capitalise on its strong niche market position to move into new territories and expand product/service offering with both existing and potential new customers.”

Aberdeen-based ATR has a turnover of more than £12 million and 85 employees.

The vendor’s lead adviser was Ritson Smith Corporate Finance, led by partner Graham Alexander.

“Given the development of the group to date the vendors wish to consider retiring but were keen that the group remained together and that the key people were retained as part of any sale,” Alexander said. “As a result the approach from the MBI team and their desire to build on the platform already established by the vendors was particularly attractive.”

ATR Group comprises five businesses that provide specialist and certified tools and equipment along with a supporting range of services and products.

The companies in the group are Aberdeen Tool Rental, ATR Plant Services, ATR Hydraulics, ATR Engineering and ATR Industrial Supplies.

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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