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Equistone buys UK connector-maker Bulgin for £105m

02 August, 2019

The private equity investor, Equistone Partners Europe, is buying a majority stake in Bulgin, the Cambridge-based manufacturer of rugged electrical components, from its current owner, Elektron Technology, in a deal that values the company at £105m. Bulgin will continue to be led by John Wilson, who will move from the role of executive chairman to CEO, and will keep its existing management team, who will acquire a minority shareholding. Peter Williamson will join as non-executive chairman.

Founded in 1923, Bulgin develops and manufactures connectors and related components for harsh-environment applications, for customers in sectors including industrials, transport, infrastructure and medical technology. It has locations in the UK, North America, Asia-Pacific and North Africa. The company supplies around 92,000 end-users through a direct sales team and a global network of distributors. In recent years, Bulgin has invested in the development of cutting-edge fibre and sensing products and rationalised its product range and distributor base. It employs around 680 people and generates revenues of more than £30m.

Wilson says that Bulgin has transformed itself “from a component manufacturer to a leading technology solutions provider with attractive margins relative to the wider sector. With its experience of backing management teams in unlocking growth potential, Equistone is the right partner to support this next stage of our development. Following the acquisition, our focus will remain on providing our customers with the growing and high-quality range of connectivity solutions for which the business is known globally.”

Equistone’s investment director, Tristan Manuel, adds: “In recent years, Bulgin’s management has successfully expanded the company’s addressable market through the launch of new products, whilst continuing to drive profitability through a focus on differentiated high-margin engineered solutions. Equistone’s investment will provide the capital to support significant scale-up of new product development, fund improvements to its operational facilities and optimise the sales and distribution infrastructure, as well as to back targeted strategic acquisitions. We are excited to be working with Bulgin on consolidating its position as a leading provider of connectivity solutions.”

Bulgin's product portfolio includes capacitive switches

The transaction is expected to complete in September 2019.

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