Bridon in £430m merger with rival

Bridon Egina reel
Bridon Egina reel

Doncaster wire rope manufacturer Bridon is merging one of its divisions with a Belgian rival to create a £430m turnover business to help it expand into Asia.

The firm, which is headquartered at Balby Carr Bank, will combine its ropes and advanced cords business with Bekaert to create a group with almost 3,000 employees and 19 factories in 11 countries and a global sales and service network.

Bridon is owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan which will hold a 33 per cent stake of the Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group when the deal goes through early next year.

A Bridon spokesman said the new group would combine Bekaert’s strength in the Americas and Australia and Bridon’s “strong positions” in Europe and the USA.

He added: “The merger will also create opportunities for further growth in Asia. The intended combination will leverage the scale and complementary strengths of Bekaert and Bridon and will pursue value creation for customers and for the new group.”

Andrew Caffyn, currently non-executive chairman of Bridon, has been appointed chairman.

Bridon, which can trace its roots back to 1789, was sold to the pension plan by Melrose Industries in October last year for £365m.

It manufactures wire and ropes for the construction, mining, marine and energy sectors.

In April Bridon announced it had won a major contract from Samsung Heavy Industries to supply mooring cables for an oil field off the coast of Nigeria.

With a design life of 25 years, each complete cable reel will weigh 185 tonnes - or more than 15 double decker buses.

Andy Dodwell, Bridon’s commercial director, said then : “This demonstrates another significant achievement in our manufacturing capabilities, being the longest mooring cable Bridon has manufactured for more than a decade.

“Samsung Heavy Industries placing their confidence in us for this critical project mooring demonstrates Bridon’s position and status in technology leadership.”