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Irwin Mitchell Supports MBO At Sheffield's IM&M

HSBC Provide Finance Package


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Sheffield-based marine safety and equipment supplier International Mining and Marine (IM&M) has undergone a Management Buy-out (MBO) with the support of HSBC and law firm, Irwin Mitchell.

The company has been acquired by existing Director and General Manager Mark Westerman, who has increased his stake in the business from 25% to 87.5%. Company founder Alan Justice will retain a 12.5% stake.

IM&M specialises in supplying safety equipment to merchant vessels involved in the shipping of oil and gas, chemicals and cargo, with a particular niche in the supply of gas detection equipment.

The business was founded in 1989 and employs 23 people at its Baxter Road headquarters. The company secured finance to complete the MBO from HSBC’s Sheffield-based South Yorkshire Commercial team in a deal led by International Commercial Manager Lee Bloodworth.

Mark Westerman joined IM&M in 2003 after working in a sales role for one of the manufacturers which supplies products to the business and worked closely with Alan Justice and his wife Pat to grow the company. Mark said he now plans to increase the company’s international sales by introducing local sales offices at key major ports.

He said: “IM&M has developed an excellent reputation for adding value to our customers and I want to build on the great foundations laid over the past 20 years. Becoming majority shareholder has been a target of mine for a number of years, particularly as Alan Justice was looking to develop growth and to secure the Company’s long term future. HSBC has been a supportive banking partner, fully backing me in this transaction.”

He added: “In the short-term my focus is on continuity, but over the medium term I would like to introduce sales offices in the major global ports, such as Singapore or Houston. We have around 6% market share presently of the gas protection equipment market and I think we could capture more of that by being present in local markets.”

Dean Gormley, Banking & Finance partner at national law firm, Irwin Mitchell, advised HSBC, with support from corporate partner Simon Cuerden.

Expert Opinion
We were delighted to support HSBC on this important deal for IM&M, a growing business which is trading on a global basis. This transaction highlights the bank’s commitment to supporting growth in SMEs here in South Yorkshire.”
Dean Gormley, Partner

Mick Knowles, HSBC South Yorkshire Area Commercial Director, said: “Mark knows this industry inside out and has worked on both the manufacturer and the distributor side. He knows what it takes to deliver a quality service to demanding clients and that is why he is the ideal person to take the business forward.”