The Martek Group and Marindus Group Ltd have both been acquired

Two specialist UK marine firms – the Martek Group and Marindus Group Ltd (MGL) – have been taken over recently by UK and Swedish companies respectively.

MGL, which comprises Marine and Industrial Transmissions Ltd (MIT) and AtZ Marine Technologies Ltd (AtZ), has been acquired by Axel Johnson International’s Industrial Solutions business group, which lists leisure and commercial marine activities among its key sectors. The acquisition of Marindus will help expand the Swedish group’s leisure marine interests.

“The acquisition expands our geographical reach in Europe, while simultaneously growing our commitment to a number of leading driveline and marine application brands,” says Jan Brattberg, head of Axel’s driveline solutions platform. “MGL’s operating companies are fully focused on providing technical solutions to their customers, which is a perfect fit with the strategic focus of Axel Johnson International.”

Headquartered in Kent, MGL has an annual turnover of around £9m and employs more than 50 staff. The company was founded in 1974 as the first Twin Disc distributor in the UK. This distribution partnership remains key for MIT and accounts for a significant amount of MGL’s sales revenue.

Additionally, MIT is the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for Transfluid, Rubber Design and Quincy. AtZ provides marine engineering capabilities, plus a consultative service to multiple aspects of above and below the waterline components. The company is the sole UK and Ireland supplier of several brands including Aegir, Deckma, ABCON and Tribomar products and services.

“This is a landmark development for both companies as it will enable true potential to be realised,” says Jerry Hill, MGL chairman. “We have laid excellent foundations and built a best-in-class team that will continue to flourish and gain new opportunities for growth under the ownership of Axel Johnson International.”

Marindus has over 40 years of experience in the marine sector, including leisure, commercial and military, providing marine driveline solutions and aftermarket support to all aspects of the marine industry. The group’s products include transmissions/marine gears, hybrid and electric drives, joystick controls, bow and stern thrusters, air compressors and controllable pitch propellers to name a few.

In a separate move, specialist marine operations group James Fisher, headquartered in Barrow-in-Furness, has acquired the entire share capital of Rotherham-based Martek Holdings through a £9m investment. A listed company, James Fisher says the £9m is an initial step with a potential further consideration of up to £1m subject to a profit target for the year ending February 28, 2020.

Martek was founded in Rotherham in 2000 and provides a range of innovative safety and calibration systems and products to the marine sector, including anti-drone systems and defibrillators for superyachts and small recreational craft. Unaudited profit after tax for the year ended February 28, 2018, came to £1.8m and gross assets were £7.2m.

Nick Henry, CEO at James Fisher, says: “The acquisition of Martek further enhances James Fisher’s capability to offer innovative solutions to the marine sector and provides a proven channel to market for the group’s adjacent products and services. We are very pleased to welcome Martek’s team to the group and look forward to a successful future together.”

In another move, Fisher has also acquired a 60% stake in MSMC – a Saudi Arabia-based company engaged in marine contracting including work on marina projects. The purchase involved an initial consideration of £4.1m in cash, with potential further consideration of up to £4.5m subject to profit targets for the year ending December 31, 2019.

MSMC, which was established in 2010 by Abdullah Akbar Natheer and is headquartered in Al Khobar, provides near-shore marine construction and maintenance services. MSMC’s audited profit after tax for the year ended December 31, 2017 was £1.4m, and unaudited gross assets were £10m.