Deal Sees Fine Tubes Under New Ownership

Plymouth engineering firm Fine Tubes has announced that it is now under new ownership following a deal with an American private equity firm.

The Estover-based business, which employs 380 people, makes high-precision tubes from stainless steel, nickel, titanium and zirconium alloys. These are used across a range of industries, from oil and gas and nuclear power to medical and aerospace.

The hi-spec tubes are designed to operate in “hostile environments”.

The company, along with its American-based sister company, is owned by the Watermill Group, which has a strong track record in making strategic acquisitions in order to grow businesses.

Fine Tubes said the deal would “bring opportunities to strengthen the company’s position to pursue new horizons”.

“Our new owners bring resources to our company that will be key to the next phase of our growth,” said managing director Ronen Day.

He added: “We’re looking forward to investing in our business to build a stronger global presence. Fine Tubes is an entrepreneurial company with exciting plans to make a step change to our competitive position and further strengthen our international presence.”

Products made by the business have been used in high-profile projects including Skylon, the world’s first commercial space plane; the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, and Gemasolar, a 377ft- high solar tower that glows white with heat and lights up the surrounding Spanish countryside.

The company’s turnover currently stands at £42 million, with growth coming from an expansion in its geographical reach and in new products.

“2012 will see record revenues at Fine Tubes, which is a reflection of the strong global demand for our specialised products,” said sales and marketing director Brian Mercer. “Our change in ownership takes us into a new and exciting chapter, with the opportunity to realise some of the increasingly global prospects for our products.”

Steven E Karol, founder and managing partner at the Watermill Group, said: “Watermill was attracted to the unique and highly technical competencies at these companies.

“Our vision is to capitalise on the complementary strategic, technical and market strengths at each company to develop a thriving industry leader that can scale its production and grow alongside its customers.”

This article was originally published by This is Devon.

September 11, 2012