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Jarrow firm in German takeover

Monday 17 December 2012 5:00

A Jarrow-based company which employs nearly 1,000 people throughout the UK, has been wholly bought out by a German multinational.

The management team of Kaefer C&D, which has offices in 12 locations around the UK, have sold their 49% stake in the company to majority shareholder Bremen-based Kaefer GMBH for an eight figure sum.

The management team of Alan Green, John Brecken and Bill Blakey is staying on to run the business for the immediate future, at Kaefer GMBH’s request.

Kaefer C&D specialises in providing insulation, scaffolding and ductwork fabrication and installation for large-scale projects, predominantly in the power generation industry, new offshore platforms and aircraft carriers. It employs 959 staff and subcontractors in locations throughout the UK.

The management team did a buy-in of what was then C&D Industrial Services in 1995 and grew the business until Kaefer GMBH took a 51% stake in 2007 with the option to buy the remaining 49% of the business after five years. It was renamed Kaefer C&D.

Commercial law firm Muckle LLP, which advised the management team on the original buy-in, also advised on the sale.

Robert Phillips, partner and head of the corporate team at Muckle, said: “The team at Kaefer C&D has grown the business substantially since the management buy in. They quickly became a target for acquisition and investment themselves. In 2007 they started negotiations with Kaefer GMBH, a German based, major projects business that also provides integrated services to the power and ship building industries.

“The business continued to perform well throughout the last five years in what have been some very tough times economically. It has done this as an owner-managed business, competing against larger, worldwide corporations.

“The company has held its own and has been an active part of the power generation, ship building and offshore industries, making a significant contribution to the North East economy.”

Alan Green, managing director of Kaefer C&D, said: “Robert and the team at Muckle LLP have been integral to supporting the growth and development of our business. They have been an important part of the team – perhaps never more so than in advising on the acquisition by Kaefer in what was quite a complex deal. Their advice has been invaluable over the years.”