Management duo closes ESS deal

A South Yorkshire-based component manufacturer for the oil services industry is to expand its product range after being bought by its management.

ESS Steels, which makes down-hole oil tools and well-head forgings, is under new ownership after managing director Duncan Milner and finance director Steven Horne acquired the company.

Alex Miller, one of the original founders, has been retained as a consultant to the new owners.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed but it was supported by £12 million from Baird Capital Partners Europe, with Yorkshire Bank providing £35 million of debt. According to reports, the buy-out team invested £9 million in the deal.

The funding not only supports the buy-out but will be used to grow the business with Horne saying that Baird’s investment will help management to develop the group’s services into new territories.

Baird and Yorkshire Bank were introduced to the deal by Patrick Abel, a partner at accountant PKF. Abel project-managed the transaction, while Baird was subsequently advised on the terms of its investment by law firm Eversheds.

ESS has been trading since 1992 and operates from sites in Sheffield and Rotherham. Its subsidiaries include Engineering Special Steels, Ancon Special Alloy Steels and Sheffield Deep Bore.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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