The cash and loan notes deal includes the assumption of £4.2m of debt, the purchase of Strainstall’s subsidiaries, and was financed entirely from James Fisher’s existing resources.
Privately-owned Strainstall, which has its head quarters in Cowes, Isle of Wight, as well as offices in the west of England, Norway, Belgium and Dubai, designs and supplies systems to monitor, control and load measure for the marine, offshore, nuclear and rail markets.
Its subsidiary Strainstall AMTS is a leading manufacturer of quick release mooring hooks, and in partnership with Strainstall UK it provides computerised ship approach, jetty management and mooring systems.
Chris Caws, managing director of the Strainstall Group, and his senior management team will remain with the 145-person business as part of an earn-out deal worth up to £1.75m in cash and loan notes, dependent on performance.
“James Fisher is a good fit for Strainstall because its refreshing approach to building service businesses is similar to ours,” said Caws.
The transaction is not the first time the teams will have worked together. Strainstall and James Fisher subsidiary Fendercare, have previously undertaken joint marketing of their respective port products.
James Fisher chairman Tim Harris is expecting the enlarged group to provide advanced mooring and harbour systems for the port and terminal industry, with Strainstall being absorbed into the company’s technical division.
“Strainstall represents the latest step in the expansion of marine support services which, in the first half of 2006, contributed 67% of profits,” said Harris.
“It fits the James Fisher model well with its products and services enjoying strong positions in specialist niche markets in the marine, nuclear and offshore sectors and, for the first time, brings the railway and civil markets to the Group.”
© Crimson Business Ltd. 2006