Walsall Completes Explosive Cross Border Deal

Pictured above: (l-r) Gary Hyem, M3 Corporate Finance; Richard Underwood, Martineau; Rob Whorrod, Walsall Limited


With advice from M3 Corporate Finance and Martineau, West Bromwich based Walsall Limited has been acquired by Pepperl + Fuchs GmbH, a world leading manufacturer of electronic sensors and the international market leader in the area of intrinsically safe explosion protection. 

Walsall specialises in the development, certification and production of electromechanical products for use in hazardous areas. Its main products are based around enclosures in the “increased safety”, “intrinsic safety” and “flameproof protection” classes with approvals for the integration of a wide range of electrical apparatus. As a complement to the core products, other product ranges include lighting, signalling equipment and emergency shutdown equipment which can all be used in hazardous areas.

With a 117 year heritage, Walsall has been owned by father & son, Roger & Rob Whorrod, since 1995. During that time, millions of pounds of investment has been made in expanding the product range and opening offices in Asia Pacific, United Arab Emirates and other important international markets. Walsall is focussed on serving major oil and gas companies such as Shell, BP, Chevron and worldwide engineering companies such as Petrofac, KBR, Foster Wheeler & Snamprogetti.

Over the past 60 years Pepperl + Fuchs has become a leading manufacturer in the field of sensor technology, components and technologies, as well as intrinsically safe products for hazardous areas. Pepperl + Fuchs is internationally operating with more than 3,500 staff at more than 80 subsidiaries and sales representatives on five continents and manufacturing facilities in Germany, the USA, Singapore, Hungary, China and India, as well as now in the UK.  

Gary Hyem of M3 Corporate Finance in Birmingham acted as lead advisor to the shareholders alongside legal advice from Richard Underwood at Martineau. Tax advice was provided by David Thomas of Spencer Gardner Dickins with financial support from Ian Baker of Bache Brown.

Rob Whorrod commented “I am delighted that the business is moving forward in the safe hands of Pepperl + Fuchs & in particular Dr. Kegel, CEO. In order to ensure continued market growth, Walsall is delighted to have agreed a deal with Pepperl+Fuchs, a company with more than 30 subsidiaries worldwide. Through the acquisition, P+F will expand its existing process automation product range and enter the electromechanical explosion protection market. By combining the product and manufacturing strengths of Walsall with the expertise and sales network of P+F, this vertical integration will allow us to respond to customers’ requirements faster and with more comprehensive components and solutions.”

Gary Hyem of M3 said “This is a great opportunity for Walsall to move to its next stage of development as part of a large multinational with greater access to global markets.  Rob and Roger have done a fantastic job of growing the business and building the product range which will now be enhanced under P+F’s ownership.  This has been a great transaction to work on and demonstrates strategic transactions can be completed despite economic conditions.”

Richard Underwood of Martineau said “I am delighted for Rob & Roger to achieve a successful sale in these times; this is largely due to their hard work in growing the business and developing a strategic range of niche products for specialist markets. All parties have worked well together in a short timescale to get to completion. “


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