Energy giant Shell swoops in deal for two Manchester specialist materials businesses

Energy giant Shell has acquired two Manchester businesses, for an undisclosed sum.

M&I Materials has signed an agreement with Shell UK for the sale of its MIDEL and MIVOLT businesses.

Stretford-based M&I Materials, which manufactures specialist materials for industry and science, has developed both business lines over many decades into market leading positions in the transformer fluids and immersion cooling spaces. The sale to Shell will provide the larger platform to enable growth of each business on a global scale.

Boosting Shell’s global lubricants portfolio, the acquisition of MIDEL’s premium product range will enable Shell to complement its differentiated position in Transformer Oils used for power distribution, offshore wind parks, utility companies and traction power systems.

By adding synthetic and natural ester-based transformer fluids and services to its portfolio, Shell Lubricants said it aims to deliver improved fire protection and biodegradability to its customers.

Meanwhile, MIVOLT’s ester-based immersion cooling fluids will support the development of thermally-efficient electric vehicle batteries, battery energy storage systems and data centres.

M&I Materials said it will continue to invest in its other businesses in its portfolio, with a range of products used by customers such as Boeing, CERN and NASA.

Colin Salt, M&I Materials chairman, said: “Ester fluid manufacturing has been a huge part of M&I Materials for over 45 years and a source of pride for everyone involved in developing this technology which customers in many markets worldwide have come to specify and trust. We want to see the growth potential for both MIDEL and MIVOLT realised and we believe Shell is uniquely positioned to take them forward and on to their next stage of development.”

Giles Salt, CEO of M&I Materials, said: “M&I Materials is a manufacturing success story because our niche product groups have grown over many decades into the individual, thriving businesses that exist today. We have incredibly exciting opportunities ahead of us for our remaining business lines, particularly in the science, aerospace and power sectors.”

Shell’s executive vice president for global lubricants, Jason Wong, said: “The addition of the MIDEL and MIVOLT premium product ranges to our portfolio acknowledges the growing ester fluid market and will help Shell Lubricants meet customer needs in the renewables and power sectors. Most importantly, we expect the outstanding technical knowledge and application expertise of their people will add huge value to Shell Lubricants.”

For the purposes of this acquisition, M&I Materials Limited will carve out its MIDEL and MIVOLT businesses into M&I Materials Development Limited, which Shell will acquire in full.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is anticipated to complete in the fourth quarter of 2023. M&I Materials Ltd will continue to operate WOLFMET, METROSIL, APIEZON and PERFORMANCE BIOLUBRICANTS businesses.

Pannone Corporate advised the shareholders of M&I Materials Limited on the sale of its MIDEL and MIVOLT businesses. Led by Mark Winthorpe and Arshnoor Amershi, Pannone Corporate acted for the sellers.

A team at Manchester accountants Hurst, which included Nigel Barratt and Ben Bradley from Hurst Corporate Finance, and Adrian Young from the tax team, also advised M&I Materials.

Arrowpoint Advisory was the lead adviser to M&I Materials. The Arrowpoint team included managing director Graham Carberry, director Tom Smith and assistant director Harry O’Connor.

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