NEWCASTLE firm NVM Private Equity has completed the £7.5m management buyout of Silverwing Group funded through a combination of equity and bank debt from RBS.
NVM invested a total of £6m in the deal to take over the Welsh firm which develops and manufactures a wide range of non destructive testing (NDT) solutions which inspect storage tanks, vessels and pipework for corrosion and wall loss, specifically for the petrochemical industry.
NDT inspections are designed to prevent accidents, reduce costs, improve product reliability and limit environmental impact. One of the highest-profile oil tank failures in recent history occurred in 2005 at the Kallo oil storage facility in Belgium when a tank holding 37,000m3 of crude oil began leaking as a result of undetected corrosion.
Companies must now demonstrate to regulatory bodies that their facilities and systems operate effectively – both in terms of functionality and safety. This is one of the key drivers for growth within Silverwing’s market.
Silverwing was founded by Simon Packer in 1983 as a service inspection company. By 1992 the company had manufactured its own magnetic flux leakage (MFL) floor scanner used to detect under-floor corrosion in large petrochemical storage tanks. The global demand for the product encouraged Silverwing to develop its design further to produce what is now the world’s leading MFL mapping floor scanner.
In 2000, the company restructured under the name Silverwing (UK) and established Silverwing Middle East LLC in 2006 followed by Silverwing Africa Pty in 2009. As part of the management buyout the three businesses will be brought under one umbrella company.
Silverwing is now a recognised brand within the international tank storage market, so is ideally placed to launch further products across different industries. Since 2006 it has successfully increased its revenue by 244%.
Wayne Woodhead, managing director of Silverwing, said: “Silverwing is well-placed to take advantage of the international demand for our NDT systems. With the support of NVM we can now develop integrated solutions rather than individual products and meet the needs of a range of corrosion-mapping applications.”
James Arrowsmith, director of NVM, added: “Despite the global economic downturn, the NDT market continues to flourish.
“Silverwing is therefore on the right path to deliver growth, driven by a highly-experienced and passionate management team.
“Wayne has extensive expertise in this sector and successfully created value for Sonatest – a firm he previously managed.
“He has recognised a demand for a wider range of products to reach out to a diverse customer base. It’s an exciting time for Silverwing and we look forward to supporting through their next stage of development.”