The Hotchkiss Group’s US fire rated duct business has been sold to its American partners, Conquest Firespray, in a £2.6m ($4m) deal negotiated with the help of EMC Corporate Finance.
Established in 1885 as a firm of maintenance and jobbing engineers, the Hotchkiss Group includes the UK’s leading air conditioning ductwork contractor and has annual worldwide sales of more than £40m. Current projects include Tate Modern, the Crossrail station at Canary Wharf, Heathrow Terminal 2A, 20 Fenchurch Street and Fitzroy House.
In the US, its fire-resistant ductwork systems have become the product of choice for many architects, engineers and contractors. Its products are installed in high rise commercial and residential buildings, museums, hospitals, research facilities, hotels, banks and many others.
Hotchkiss Group Managing Director Giles Woolley said: “With the UK construction market still very challenging, the sale of our US operation will increase the financial strength of the group.
“We will continue to be involved by providing a development programme for new products for the US market. We will also continue our general development programme and expansion into other overseas markets.”
He added: “It was a fairly complex deal to negotiate and we were very grateful to have the experienced hands of Nik Askaroff and the team at EMC Corporate Finance to guide us through it.”
The Hotchkiss Group still has its headquarters in Eastbourne, East Sussex, where it was formed almost 130 years ago. The business passed into the ownership of the Ohly family in 1951, with current Group Chairman Michael Ohly joining the company in 1971.
Its expansion into structural steelwork, architectural metalwork and ultimately sheet metal led to its specialisation in ductwork contracting. Over the years, the group has diversified into related specialist areas including nuclear duct fabrication, duct cleaning and maintenance, CO2 engineering for blast cleaning and chilling applications, high pressure water cleaning and the manufacture and distribution of H&V products and fire resistant duct systems.
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