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AcquisitionsWestBridge backs Alpine Fire Engineers in secondary buyout

WestBridge backs Alpine Fire Engineers in secondary buyout

PRIVATE equity firm WestBridge has completed a secondary buyout of Alpine Fire Engineers Ltd, specialist providers of mechanical fire suppression systems.

The transaction provides an exit for Soho Square Capital and sees WestBridge invest £18.7m to take a majority stake in the company. It also marks the tenth investment from WestBridge Fund II.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Greater Manchester, Alpine design, project manage and maintain complex fixed fire suppression systems across the UK. With industry-leading accreditations, the company operates in a wide range of industries including logistics, food and beverage, automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and retail. Turnover in financial year ending 31 March 2022 was £38m.

The buyout was led by Alpine’s management team, Steve Nanda (CEO), Mark Jones (CFO), Louise Plant (service and business development director), Rob Brennan (proposals director) and Mark Thewlis (operations director), who have all been instrumental in driving the company’s growth over the last few years.

The WestBridge transaction team comprised Peter Barkley, James MacLeay, Rory Whitrow and James Wakefield. Peter Barkley, director at WestBridge, said:

“Alpine is very attractive business with an ambitious, credible and experienced management team. It operates in a niche market where growth is being driven by increasing regulatory requirements. Working with Steve and his team, we have also identified other significant opportunities for growth which include diversification into new sectors and strategic bolt-ons. We will work in partnership with management to deploy our Value Creation Model. As head of our Manchester office, I’m delighted that we’ve identified and backed another successful and ambitious north west business.”

Steven Nanda, who led the MBO, said:

“Although we received several approaches from trade buyers, we were keen to continue with a private equity partner. WestBridge stood out for a number of reasons. They recognised the effort we have put into establishing strong foundations on which to grow and also appreciated how hard everyone at Alpine has worked to nurture strong customer relationships. We were particularly impressed with the WestBridge Value Creation Model, which provides a blueprint for rigorously identifying improvements and growth opportunities in all areas of the business. We are genuinely excited to be entering 2023 with WestBridge at our side. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Soho Square Capital, and in particular David Steel and Howard Chan, for their invaluable support since we partnered with them in 2018.”

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