Bahrain's Investcorp acquires work-at-height safety business Kee for £280m

Lucy White
Steel Worker
Kee's equipment is designed to prevent workers falling off high-rise projects (Source: Getty)

Bahraini investment firm Investcorp has scooped up fall prevention business Kee Safety from two UK private equity firms, in a deal valuing Kee at £280m.

London-based Dunedin, which previously owned a majority stake, bought the business from Lloyds Banking Group's private equity arm LDC for £90m in 2013.

Dunedin has made three times its money invested in Kee, which sells its products to multi-national corporations and contractors to prevent workers falling from high-rise sites. LDC has also sold the minority stake it retained.

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“Kee Safety is a fantastic business that has achieved very significant growth,” said Dunedin partner Nicol Fraser.

“International expansion and an active acquisition strategy have been important parts of that growth and it is to the great credit of the management team that so much has been achieved over the last four years.”

For Dunedin, the deal comes just one week after the float of Alpha Financial Markets and two months since the sale of Blackrock Expert Services. The firm, which still part-owns courier service CitySprint, has generated a total cash return of £230m for its investors over the last three months.

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Birmingham-based Kee now employs 480 people and has established operations in 10 countries, including the US and China. It made 12 acquisitions over the four years it was held by Dunedin.

Investcorp wants to grow the business by attracting new customers and by making acquisitions, including in new markets. It notes that the niche Kee operates in is highly fragmented.

The deal is Investcorp's third in the UK over the last 18 months, following cyber security business Nebulas and classroom software company Impero.

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