Industrial pipes supplier joins European water solutions specialist

Nick Johnson
X The Business Desk

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Leeds-based specialist industrial pipe provider, epco, has been acquired by Netherlands-based MegaGroup to accelerate growth.

RG Corporate Finance advised the shareholders of epco on the disposal of the business to Nimbus-backed MegaGroup.

Founded in 1994, epco is a provider of thermoplastic pipe systems to customers across the UK, servicing a range of commercial sectors.

The transaction means the industrial products supplier will be able to increase the pace of its growth.

It will also ensure MegaGroup can further improve its UK market position, using epco’s product range and distribution capabilities to serve customers in its core sectors, including but not limited to industrial resellers, installers and providers of piping systems in the fish farming aquaculture industry.

MegaGroup is a water solutions specialist operating across seven European countries and employing more than 200 people. It is supported by European private equity house, Nimbus.

Following the acquisition, epco’s managing director, founder and principal shareholder Chris Knowles will work with Mega Group, continuing to support the business as interim MD for a period of up to 12 months and the business will continue to operate from its Leeds headquarters.

Founded in 1994 by Knowles, epco has become a major independent supplier of quality-accredited industrial piping systems, gaining a particular niche for its range of large diameter sizes.

It is the exclusive UK supplier of high quality thermoplastic pressure pipe fittings, valves, and flange products produced by Italian manufacturer COMER SpA.

Supplying U-PVC and ABS thermoplastic piping solutions, to industry sectors such as water treatment, fish-farming, and swimming pools & spas, epco operates from a 45,000 sq ft facility and employs 15 people.

Advising epco was Newcastle-based RG Corporate Finance, led by CF partner Nick Johnson and CF manager Connor McBride.

Legal advice was provided by Leeds-based Clarion Solicitors’ Jonathan Simms, Alex Cooper and Amy Buttrick with tax and financial due diligence undertaken by Fergus Beadle and Helen Daniels of Sagars Accountants in Leeds.

MegaGroup received legal advice from Shoosmiths with tax advice from RSM.

Knowles said: “Joining the MegaGroup family of companies is excellent news, not only for us as a business, but also for our customers.

“Now being part of an organisation at the forefront of modern sales technology will accelerate epco’s business ambitions and those of our employees.

“Our range will increase over time giving our customers a bigger and better-quality product offering to choose from, whilst still maintaining our core belief that we are the best at what we do and being recognised by the market as a brand synonymous with quality.”

Bernard Verburg, CEO of MegaGroup, said: “We continuously invest in new products, services and in knowledge.

“This has resulted in some encouraging growth results for MegaGroup over the past few years.

“In order to accelerate our growth in the UK, we have acquired a well-known and trusted business in epco.

“Together with our existing UK operations we can really add value for all our customers, offering them a wider range of products and extended ordering options.”

Nick Johnson, CF partner at RGCF, added: “We have worked closely with Chris and the team at epco over the past two years to support its strategic growth programme.

“Becoming part of MegaGroup will bring real benefits to the business and the UK plastic piping market.

“This is a great example of the interest in high quality British business from international buyers keen to grow their presence in the UK and will help MegaGroup achieve its ambition to become one of the leading players in its core sectors across Northern Europe.”