Private equity purchase of £13m turnover steel firm

Pulman Steel, one of Yorkshire’s most historic steel businesses, is aiming to further scale-up its operations in the North following its acquisition by private equity firm, Breal Capital.

As a result of the acquisition, which is for an undisclosed figure, Pulman Steel becomes part of Breal Capital’s network of regional UK steel stockholders, benefiting from the combined buying power and operational synergies of the group.

Founded in 1830, Pulman Steel has grown to become one of the largest independent steel stockholders and leading steel processing centres in the North. It employs more than 80 people with a forecast turnover for 2019 of £13m.

From its 100,000 square foot facility in Sowerby Bridge near Halifax, the company serves a range of industries including fabricating, sheet metal, construction, engineering, storage, oil and gas, transport, aerospace, rail and offshore energy.

Following the acquisition, majority shareholder David Shoesmith will retire from Pulman Steel after a short handover. Shareholder and finance director Chris Horner will remain with the business, working with the long-standing management team with the support of Breal Capital, to continue the growth of the company.

Advising Pulman Steel’s shareholders was Newcastle-based Ryecroft Glenton (RG) Corporate Finance, led by Partner and head of corporate finance, Carl Swansbury. Tax advice to the shareholders was provided by RG’s corporate tax partner Simon Whiteside, supported by Charlie Burton.

Legal advice to the shareholders was provided by Robert Thompson, head of corporate at Newcastle-based Ward Hadaway, supported by Liam Stubbs and Nicole Axom.

Chris Horner, finance director at Pulman Steel, said: “Becoming part of Breal Capital’s family of businesses will support our continued strategic growth and strengthen our position as one of the largest, independent steel stockholders in the North of England.

“Our customers will directly benefit from our new position as a result of the economies of scale that comes with being part of a larger network while maintaining our dedicated and established service to industry across the North.”

A spokesperson for Breal Capital said: “We are delighted to add Pulman Steel to our portfolio of companies and looking forward to working with the management team to grow the business in the future.”

Carl Swansbury, Partner and head of corporate finance at RG, said: “Across the generations Pulman Steel has built an exceptionally successful business, which will add great value to Breal Capital’s network and strengthen its own position in the North of England market.

“Chris Horner, along with the existing second tier management team are exceptionally experienced, with many of them having careers of more than 30 years with the business, which will be of real benefit to Breal Capital while ensuring continuity and the expertise the company has in abundance.

“It has been a real pleasure advising David, Chris and their fellow shareholders on this significant transaction.”