PE investor exits noise control systems manufacturer

YFM Equity Partners has sold Wakefield Acoustics to Nasdaq-listed CECO Environmental Corp, a diversified industrial company whose solutions protect people, the environment, and industrial equipment across the globe.

Heckmondwike-based Wakefield manufactures advanced industrial, commercial, and environmental noise control systems.

Its current managing director, Kevin Still, will remain at Wakefield, working within CECO’s Thermal Acoustics business platform consisting of the Aarding and Burgess-Aarding brands to drive strategic growth.

The acquisition of Wakefield by CECO’s Thermal Acoustics business platform, advances Texas-headquartered CECO’s position within the industrial silencing and noise attenuation space, adding a range of solutions as well as access to new geographic markets and industrial segments.

Additionally, it will offer Wakefield the opportunity to expand its product offering globally, with CECO providing investment and routes to markets to enable the expansion.

Gavin Chadwick, portfolio director at YFM, said: “We invested in Wakefield in 2014 and despite challenging market conditions, we have successfully seen the business through into its next stage of growth and evolution.

“Since our investment the business increased sales by over 200% and invested in new facilities and manufacturing capability.

“Having guided the company through management changes as well as supporting their expansion into the datacentre and power generation sectors, the business is now very well-positioned to move on to the next stage of its growth and we wish them every success for the future.”

Still added: “YFM has been an extremely supportive partner, helping us to create a stronger, and more diverse management team, and to be more strategic. 

“As the Wakefield team enters the next stage in our development, we are in a great place from which to continue on our current strong trajectory.

“We look forward to working with CECO, as we continue to expand in high growth energy and green markets in the UK, Europe and beyond.”

North West law firm Napthens advised the shareholders and management team of Wakefield Acoustics on the deal. The team was led by head of Liverpool Kieran Donovan, Evie Hubble, Suzanne Mainwaring and Stephanie Gray.

Geraint Tilsley and Natalie Wilson of Lewis Silkin LLP provided legal advice to CECO Environmental Corp.

Donovan, corporate partner and head of Liverpool at Napthens, said: “It’s been a pleasure to have worked with YFM Equity Partners and the shareholders of Wakefield Acoustics on their successful exit to CECO.

“The US listed group has acquired a market leading business and I look forward to seeing its team export Wakefield’s specialist services and products to the global market.”

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