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Cradley-based high rise safety firm Kee bought in £280 million deal

By Simon Penfold | Cradley Heath | Business | Published:

A Black Country company supplying safety products for people working at height around the world has been bought in a £280 million deal.

Kee Safety, which employs around 480 people, has been sold by its owners, investment groups Dunedin and LDC, to Bahrain-based Investcorp.

Established in the UK in 1934 and based on the Cradley Business Park, in Cradley Heath, Kee Safety is considered the leading global provider of equipment to protect people working at height from the risk of falling.

Its products include fall prevention equipment, roof edge protection, barrier and guardrail systems and safe access solutions.

Today, Kee Safety is a global business selling its products across more than 60 countries worldwide to a broad range of customers, from multi-national corporations to distributors and installers. As well as its Black Country headquarters Kee has established operations in 10 countries, including the US and China.

Chris Milburn, chairman of Kee Safety, added: "International expansion and an active acquisition strategy have formed key tenets of our growth story over recent years.

"It was therefore extremely important for us to identify the right partner capable of continuing to support us in this period of strong development for the company.

"We believe that Investcorp's proven track record, global presence and network will be extremely valuable in this regard.

"Their experience of working with the management teams of their portfolio companies to help them continue to internationalise makes them a highly complementary partner for Kee Safety and one that will help us realise the full growth potential of the business."

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New owner Investcorp says it plans to support Kee Safety's international growth strategy, growing the business and looking at further acquisitions to expand the company's geographic footprint and strengthening its presence in existing markets.

As levels of safety regulation increase around the world, Investcorp believes Kee Safety is in a good position to use its reputation for the reliability of its products to keep growing.

Jose Pfeifer, principal in Investcorp's European Corporate Investment group, said: "Kee Safety has grown at an impressive rate across international markets whilst maintaining excellent standards in the quality and reliability of its product range.

"We believe that the company is well-positioned to solidify its leading position and gain a greater market share in a sizeable, growing and fragmented industry.

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"We look forward to working in partnership with the current management team as Kee Safety

Kee Safety is Investcorp's third investment in the UK in the last 18 months, having previously acquired Nebulas, a managed cyber security service provider, and Impero, one of the UK's leading providers of online student safety, classroom and school network management software.

Founded in 1982, Investcorp has made over 170 corporate investments in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East and North Africa region, including Turkey, across a range of sectors including retail and consumer products, technology, business services and industrials, and more than 400 commercial and residential real estate investments in the US, worth in excess of US $53 billion.

Investcorp employs approximately 390 people across its offices in Bahrain, New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Doha, and Singapore.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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