Safety leader eyes cut-price sale

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One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of safety equipment is gearing up for sale, with sources suggesting that its private equity owner is preparing to sell it for little more than half the price it paid for it in 2015. 

Onex is looking for a buyer for Survitec, with the company’s management seeking to raise funds for a buyout at a price of around £250m. Onex paid £450m to buy Survitec from Warburg Pincus in early 2015 and merged it with the Norwegian company Wilhelmsen Maritime Services in 2016.

Onex has not yet started actively marketing the company to others but it follows a public omission by Onex’s chief financial officer that Survitec has been struggling of late and it is said that Onex may seek a debt for equity swap if a sale cannot be achieved.  M&G is thought to be the company’s largest debt holder.

Survitec’s heritage dates back to 1920. It is probably best known for the life jackets that it makes for many of the world’s leading airlines but it has wide-ranging operations across the marine, energy, defence, and industrial sectors, in areas including life rafts, firefighting equipment and buoyancy aids.

Surviutec declines to comment.

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