MSA to Buy UK Fall Protection Business


Seeking to double its fall protection footprint globally, Pittsburgh-based safety products manufacturer MSA Safety Inc. plans to purchase a UK-based fall protection safety product group.

MSA Safety Inc. announced the proposed acquisition of Latchways PLC Sept. 1.

The transaction is valued at £124 million ($191 million).

Founded in 1974, Latchways is a global leader of permanent engineered fall protection systems, which includes both horizontal and vertical lifelines. The company’s portfolio includes personal rescue devices, WinGrip products for aircraft maintenance and a range of patented self-retracting lifelines.

Headquartered in Devizes, England, Latchways reported revenues of £33.1 million ($51.2 million) for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, according to MSA.

Latchways has approximately 250 employees.

Closing Details

William M. Lambert, MSA chairman, president and CEO, said the acquisition is conditional on, among other things, the approval of Latchways shareholders.

The deal, which is expected to close in October, will strengthen MSA’s position in one of the largest and fastest growing segments of the sophisticated safety products market, according to the announcement.

MSA said the acquisition will broaden and enhance its existing line of fall protection products. The fall protection market it estimated to be between $1.5 and $2.0 billion globally, the company said.

Since the acquisition relates to the shares of an English company that is not registered under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, it is intended that the acquisition will be implemented by means of a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement under part 26 of the U.K. Companies Act 2006, according to MSA.

Founded in 1914, MSA is a worldwide leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. MSA employs 5,000 people and had revenues of $1.1 billion in 2014.


Tagged categories: Acquisitions; Business matters; Equipment manufacturers; Europe; Fall protection; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; MSA; North America; Personal protective equipment; Safety

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