Chepstow, Wales-based Reid Lifting, a manufacturer of lightweight gantry and davit cranes, has been purchased by Pure Lifting, a holding company formed to create a global portfolio of innovative, portable equipment businesses. The value of the transaction, effective 5 March 2019, is not disclosed.
The landmark acquisition includes all staff and assets but not the company’s buildings and land, located on the Newhouse Farm Industrial Estate, which will remain in the ownership of Nick Battersby, former owner of Reid and outgoing managing director. The sale of the business will allow Nick and Elisabeta Battersby to transition into retirement, although the former will remain with the company as a director for the foreseeable future. Simon Luke, whose curriculum vitae includes many years of experience in ownership and leadership roles, principally in the fall protection sector, has taken up position as incoming managing director with immediate effect.
Luke, one of a number of investors within the recently-formed Pure Lifting, said: “Nick and his team have done a tremendous job of positioning Reid as a standout manufacturer in the portable lifting equipment marketplace; we look forward to building on its success in addition to realising expansion and global growth potential. Continued innovation and an elevated profile of the many core strengths of the product range will be hallmarks of our ownership.”
Battersby said: “Elisabeta and I have been planning an exit strategy for the past 18 months. We have repelled purchasing interest in the past but the eventual sale represents conclusion of a carefully managed process that results in a new ownership concept that can take the company—and existing and prospective employees—to the next level. Importantly, Pure wants to invest in the existing facility and give energy to global growth endeavours from our Chepstow home. Elisabeta and I are certainly excited about witnessing continued expansion, albeit eventually from afar.”
The acquisition will create immediate employment opportunities with new sales leadership being sought to enable Elisabeta to retire this summer, in addition to positions in marketing and operations. With Reid bifocal in looking to increase orders and shorten lead times even further, recruitment campaigns are likely to be perpetual, Luke suggested. At the centre of growth strategy is penetration of markets where the Reid brand remains a relative newcomer at the time of acquisition, with North America a primary target.
Luke said: “Reid have done a fine job of maximising revenue from European markets and many others further afield, but we have earmarked a number of regions that represent growth potential, including the U.S., Canada, and South America. We understand the requirement to localise the product offering and deliver to stateside users, for example, unrivalled solutions in our sector through a vibrant distributor network.”
Battersby added: “Combining the new management team with a product range that presents clear advantages in terms of ease of assembly, range of capacity, diversity, and conformity with global certifications and safety standards, certainly whets the appetite. It’s business as usual for partners and customers in the short-term, yet plans are already afoot to increase investment in product development and innovation, which will remain at the company’s core.”
Photos: Nick Battersby (left) and Simon Luke, outgoing and incoming managing directors respectively, mark the dawn of a new era of ownership at Reid Lifting.