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Dunedin backs £90m buyout of Kee Safety

By Dunedin,  December 04, 2013

Dunedin has backed the £90m management buyout of Kee Safety, a global supplier of safety solutions and products designed to protect people from hazards

Dunedin, the UK mid-market buyout house, has backed the £90 million management buyout of Kee Safety, a global supplier of safety solutions and products designed to protect people from hazards. Dunedin’s stake in the business was acquired from LDC.

This is the second investment that Dunedin has completed from its latest fund, Dunedin Buyout Fund III, which closed on £300 million in July. It follows a period of high transactional activity for Dunedin, which in the last twelve months has made the following investments – the £34.5 million management buyout of Premier Hytemp and the £43 million buyout of Trustmarque Solutions. Dunedin has also completed two exits in this period - etc.venues and Practice Plan, which realised money multiples of 3.2x and 2.8x respectively.

Dunedin invested £32 million in Kee Safety, which will help enable the business to continue its international expansion.

Kee Safety employs 274 people and sells its products in over 50 countries. The business achieved revenues of £35 million for the year ended 31 December 2012. Headquartered in Birmingham, Kee Safety’s customers range from multi-national corporations, to major contractors, distributors and installers. Its products include: fall prevention equipment, roof edge protection, barrier and guardrail systems and safe access solutions.

Demand for protective equipment is being driven by increased levels of safety regulation and enforcement around the world. The business operates sales and distribution centres in the UK, Germany, the USA and Dubai; and sales offices in Canada, China, France and Poland. Kee Safety can trace its heritage back to 1934 when the initial Kee Klamp barrier system was devised for the agriculture market.

Nicol Fraser, partner at Dunedin who joins the board, commented: “Kee Safety represents an exciting opportunity for Dunedin to invest in a first class management team with a track record of delivering into international markets. The business enjoys strong brand recognition and loyalty across its global customer base and has successfully utilised this strength to develop the brand and expand its routes to market. The company offers a scalable platform to further exploit international growth opportunities.”

Chris Milburn, CEO of Kee Safety, commented: “Dunedin was the obvious fit for us. They have a strong partnership approach and a reputation for delivering on what they say they will do. They also have a proven track record of enabling businesses to achieve growth organically and through acquisition. Further international expansion is a key element of our growth strategy and we are confident that they will help us to realise these ambitions.”

Also involved in leading the deal for Dunedin were Mark Ligertwood (partner), Simon Rowan (investment director), Jon Ma (investment director) and Jamie Moodie (senior associate).

The Acquisition Finance team at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and HSBC Leveraged Finance have jointly provided senior debt and a revolving credit facility to support the transaction.

Dunedin completed the transaction with support from a number of Midlands-based advisors, including PwC (commercial due diligence), Grant Thornton (financial due diligence), and Gateley (legal).


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