WMH Transmissions sold to €3.9 billion turnover French giant - KBS

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WMH Transmissions sold to €3.9 billion turnover French giant

WMH Transmissions Limited and Apex Transmissions Limited, the Midlands-based specialist providers of linear, transmission and gearbox products, has been acquired by €3.9 billion turnover French giant, Descours & Cabaud.

Founded in 1987, WMH Transmissions specialise in the provision of products from leading manufacturers for commercial and industrial clients throughout the UK and Europe. In 2014, a supporting company in the form of Apex Transmissions was founded in order to become a stockist of Bosch Rexroth for the UK market. To date, Apex Transmissions holds the largest volume of Rexroth linear product stock in the UK.

With shareholders based in the UK, Italy and Germany, KBS Corporate brought both companies to market in order to facilitate the complete exit of several shareholders, whilst allowing others to take the first steps towards retirement following a consultancy period post-sale.

Owing to the companies’ existing European presence, KBS Corporate approached buyers from across the globe, focussing on industrial component distribution and companies serving the maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) manufacturing/industrial market. The opportunity was also pitched to several Private Equity houses and Family Offices.

Four offers were secured, with the final deal value representing a 20% increase on the first offer received. Interest was obtained from UK and European acquirers, with the successful bid being made by Descours & Cabaud, a Lyon-headquartered distributor of professional supplies to the industrial and constructions sectors throughout Europe and North America. Descours & Cabaud employs 14,000 staff members and generated revenues of €3.9 billion in 2019.

The deal for WMH Transmissions and Apex Transmissions forms part of Descourd & Cabaud’s current strategy to growth through acquisition within the MRO market, and both companies will act as a bolt-on for Hayley Group in the UK, which was also purchased three years ago. Hayley Group currently operates 40 branches throughout the UK, and following the acquisition, will stock products through this network and help to grow the firm’s newly formed robotics division.

Tom Eatough, Associate Corporate Director at KBS Corporate, handled all negotiations on behalf of WMH and Apex. Louise Beamen, shareholder of WMH Transmissions, was duly delighted with Tom’s role throughout the process, commenting: “I just wanted to say thank you for all of your support and help during this transaction. I know at times it must have been testing for you, but you were always very calm and professional in handling all our concerns or problems. A true professional and credit to KBS”.

TLT LLP provided legal advisory to the seller.

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