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HSBC supports MBO at Sheffield’s IM&M

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Sheffield-based  marine  safety and equipment supplier International Mining and Marine (IM&M) has undergone a management buy out.

HSBC’s South Yorkshire commercial team has provided a seven figure finance package to support the transaction.

The company has been acquired by existing Director and General Manager Mark Westerman, who has increased his stake in the business from 25 per cent to 87.5 per cent.

Company founder Alan Justice will retain a 12.5 per cent.

IM&M specialises in supplying safety equipment to merchant vessels involved in the shipping of oil and gas, chemicals and cargo, with a particular niche in the supply of gas detection equipment.

The company works with shipping companies across the globe and generates 60 per cent of its £3.5 million turnover from overseas sales.

The  business was founded in 1989 and employs 23 people at its Baxter Road headquarters.

The company secured finance to complete the MBO from HSBC’sSheffield-based South Yorkshire commercial team in a deal led by international commercial manager Lee Bloodworth.

Mark Westerman joined IM&M in 2003 after working in a sales role for one of the  manufacturers which supplies products to the business and worked closely with Alan Justice and his wife Pat to grow the company.

Mark said he now plans to increase the company’s international sales by introducing local sales offices at key major ports.

He said:

“IM&M  has developed an excellent reputation for adding value to our customers and I want to build on the great foundations laid over the past  20 years.

“Becoming majority shareholder has been a target of mine for a  number of years, particularly as Alan Justice was looking to develop growth and to secure the company’s long term future.

HSBC has been a supportive banking partner, fully backing me in this transaction.”

He added:

“In the short-term my focus is on continuity, but over the medium term I would like to introduce sales offices in the major global ports, such as Singapore or Houston.

“We have around six per cent ofmarket share presently of the gas protection  equipment market and I think we could capture more of that by being present in local markets.”

Mick  Knowles, HSBC South Yorkshire area commercial director, said:

“Mark knows this industry inside out and has worked on both the manufacturer and the distributor side.

“He knows what it takes to deliver a quality service to demanding clients and that is why he is the ideal person to take the business forward.”

Dean Gormley, banking & finance partner at national law firm, Irwin Mitchell, advised HSBC, with support from corporate partner Simon Cuerden.

Dean  said:

“We were delighted to support HSBC on this important deal for IM&M, a growing business which is trading on a global basis.

“This transaction highlights the bank’s commitment to supporting growth in SMEs here in South Yorkshire.”

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