Solihull-based infrastructure, galvanising and construction products group Hill & Smith Holdings (HILS) has acquired US glass reinforced plastics manufacturer Creative Pultrusions in a deal worth £11.3 million.
The acquisition brings more international opportunities for the group. CP was founded 35 years ago and supplies markets which include infrastructure products, transportation and utilities, construction, bridges and access systems.
It is known as an industry leader, offering high-strength pultruded products designed and manufactured to provide lasting performance in highly corrosive environments. Easily fabricated, the components offer corrosion resistance and light weight benefits when compared to traditional materials.
The business, which supplied the cable supports for 783 miles of cables and optic fibres in the Channel Tunnel, lays claim to be the world’s most innovative manufacturer of glass reinforced polymer composites.
Hill & Smith, through its UK subsidiary Redman Fisher, already had an established trading relationship with CP as a result of a marketing and manufacturing agreement entered into in 2006.
This agreement enabled Redman Fisher to manufacture pultruded GRP products at its Telford factory in the UK.
Over the past two years, CP has been providing technological assistance to support Redman Fisher and will now play a key role in the expansion of the group’s product offering.
Pennsylvania-based CP, which has 185 employees, reported annual sales of $32.7m (£17.6 million) in the year ended August 31, 2007, the latest year for which audited results are available.
Hill & Smith already has a major presence in the US providing a comprehensive range of products and solutions for the maintenance and improvement of the transport infrastructure, oil and gas, power generation and health and safety sectors.
Hill & Smith chief executive Derek Muir said: “The acquisition represents a major step in the continuing development of our overseas businesses.
“CP will significantly add to the product offering of our Infrastructure Products division. It is a highly innovative business with excellent customer relationships.”
The company’s capability to provide creative solutions and products using alternative and lighter materials is expected to complement Hill & Smith’s offering in the US.
“This makes it a great fit for our core businesses and we see it as a high growth opportunity for the group as a whole,” added Mr Muir.
The principal shareholder of the CP business, Robert D Sweet Jr, has stepped down as chairman and chief executive but is to remain as a consultant. Shane Weyant, formerly chief operating officer, is now chief executive and the remainder of the management team remains in place.
Hill & Smith recently announced a 45.5 per cent rise in underlying profit before taxation (prior to reorganisation, property items and the amortisation of acquisition intangibles) for the six months to June 30, 2008. The group’s sales revenues were up by 50 per cent to £264.1 million in the half year due to its acquisition of a controlling interest in Zinkinvent in July 2007 and strong organic growth.
CP is the second major business to have been acquired by the group this year after Zinkinvent, an international galvaniser and fabricator which has substantial galvanising operations in Europe and the US.
“We believe that our latest acquisition will be earnings enhancing and will add value to our operations around the world including those in the UK and mainland Europe,” said Mr Muir.