Lift-Rite group acquired by Subsea Services business

Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance and Square One Law have advised on the sale of Lift-Rite Group to Benbecula Subsea Services Ltd, a business led by Ally MacDonald, former CEO of Wellstream and MD of Technip Umbilicals and current Chairman of Tekmar Energy.

Lift-Rite Group, which is based in Wallsend, North Tyneside, operates three divisions, which serve the offshore, marine and engineering sectors.

The group has enjoyed strong organic and acquisitive growth since it was founded in 2003, building a workforce of 48, with Turnover in excess of £6m.

Within the group is Lift-Rite Engineering Services, which designs, manufactures, inspects, repairs and hires out lifting equipment, whilst offering on-site rigging and mobilisation services, along with Tyne Gangway and DDS Metals.

Tyne Gangway, which was originally founded in 1934, was acquired by Lift-Rite Group in 2010. The company manufactures and designs marine access systems including gangways and accommodation ladders, predominately for the marine industries, with 50 percent of its equipment produced for export.

A large proportion of Tyne Gangway’s materials are supplied by its third division, DDS Metals.  Acquired by Lift-Rite Group in 2010, the business was founded five years earlier and supplies aluminium and stainless steel plates and extrusions to a UK customer base.

As a result of the group’s acquisition by Benbecula, Lift-Rite Group is targeting further growth in existing and complementary markets with the support of its new owners.  The new management enhance and complement the existing management team through their international expertise and experience in the global offshore engineering sectors, to support the continued expansion of Lift-Rite.

Existing joint-Managing Director and majority shareholder of the Lift-Rite Group, Ken McDonald, will remain with the group to support Benbecula’s strategic growth programme, while fellow majority shareholder Graeme Robson will retire from his position as joint-Managing Director.

Ken will continue to be supported by the group’s experienced management team, which is made up of Managing Director Andy Clark and Engineering Director Glyn Geach.

Lift-Rite Group’s shareholders were advised by Newcastle-based Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance led by partner Carl Swansbury, Alex Simpson and David Nixon.  Legal advice was provided by Cornerstone Law, with accountancy advice coming from Jason Cheesman, Partner at Mitchells Limited.

Benbecula were advised by Newcastle-based commercial law firm Square One Law, led by partner and head of commercial and corporate, James Bryce, supported by Senior Associate Ashraf Ali. Corporate finance advice was provided by UNW, led by Corporate Finance Partner Neville Bearpark, Manager Michael McCulloch and Robert Cooper.

Ken McDonald, Managing Director of Lift-Rite Group, said: “We have enjoyed strong and consistent growth in recent years and believe that, to take the group further, it would benefit from the involvement of a larger parent that can realise our strategic growth ambitions.  The reputation and pedigree that the new management bring to the business is second-to-none and will help drive Lift-Rite forward in new and existing markets.”

Carl Swansbury, partner at Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance, said: “The shareholders and management team at Lift-Rite Group have built upon the industrial heritage of the North East to remain a relevant part of the offshore and engineering supply chain.  Its products and services are well-received by industry and support the region’s reputation for engineering excellence.  As part of Benbecula the group can experience exponential growth benefiting from the combined experience that exists in both businesses.”


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