Selwood gets new owners
By Murray Pollok12 September 2022
UK fund manager Arcus Infrastructure Partners has acquired an 83% stake in UK pump rental and sales company Selwood and sister business Siltbuster from previous majority owner the Bright family. The investment amount has not been disclosed.
Workdry International - the holding company for Selwood and Siltbuster - has been majority owned by the Bright family since 1976. Richard Bright will step down as Chairman but remain an investor board member. The remaining 17% ownership will be held by the Bright family and individuals in the management team.
Arcus said the deal would enable Workdry to build on its track record and growth ambitions “by investing in innovation and new territories”.
Selwood and Siltbuster will remain as independent businesses, with Workdry CEO Richard Brown, CFO Nigel Apps and their executive team continuing in place. Arcus said there would be no day-to-day changes for customers, staff or suppliers.
Selwood has 21 branches and 490 employees in the UK, and is one of the country’s largest pump rental businesses as well as being a manufacturer of pumps for sale in the UK and internationally. Siltbuster, based in Wales, has 77 staff and rents equipment for on-site water treatment, waste processing and for the prevention of water pollution.
Together the businesses own 5,500 pumps and 3,000 wastewater treatment systems. It reported revenues of €95 million for 2021 and was ranked just outside the IRN100 listing of the world’s largest 100 equipment rental companies in the latest listing published in June this year.
Richard Brown, CEO, Workdry International, said: “Workdry is an incredibly successful business that has grown significantly over the past decade in line with the Board’s plans to deliver the very best in complete water handling and treatment solutions on a regional, national and international scale.
“Delivering the next steps in our growth required new and experienced investors to enable us to scale up while continuing to deliver the quality products and services that our customers associate with our Selwood and Siltbuster brands”.
He added that the Arcus investment “will enable us to deliver on those ambitions, building on all we have achieved to date to strengthen our position as a European leader in water and wastewater asset leasing and integrated solutions.”
Arcus focuses solely on long-term investments in European infrastructure, targeting mid-market infrastructure investments with a focus on the digital, transport, logistics and industrials, and energy sectors.
Jordan Cott, Partner at Arcus, said: “We have spent significant time reviewing value-add industrial asset leasing businesses in Europe, and Workdry was prioritised given its strong fit with our infrastructure investment strategy.
“Workdry benefits from predictable and broadly non-cyclical demand, as well as a diversified and blue-chip customer base, which provides a robust foundation for future growth.
“The company’s essential role for its customers has become even more important given increasingly stringent regulation and public scrutiny with respect to the UK’s water and wastewater infrastructure.”
Richard Bright said: “Our family’s involvement with the Workdry International Ltd businesses dates back to 1976 when my late father, Kevin, joined Selwood Ltd as an 18-year-old.
“While this transaction sees us relinquish our controlling interest in the Group we will remain invested alongside Arcus, reflecting not only our confidence in the group, its leadership and employees, but also our trust in Arcus as a good home for a business that we deeply care about.”