Ashtead Technology has this morning completed the acquisition of ACE Winches in a major multimillion-pound deal.

In a stock market announcement released at 7am, Westhill-based Ashtead Technology confirmed it had acquired the Turriff-headquartered firm from its founders, Alfie and Valerie Cheyne, for a total cash consideration of £53.5million on a cash and debt free basis.

ACE Winches will form part of Ashtead Technology's enlarged mechanical solutions business.

Gary Wilson, current Chief Commercial Officer at ACE Winches will run the day-to-day operations reporting to Ashtead Technology management with founder, Alfie Cheyne, remaining with the business as an adviser for 12 months to provide strategic and commercial input through a handover and integration period.

Ashtead Technology Chief Executive Allan Pirie said he was "delighted" with the deal, which sees AshteaTechnology acquire the entire share capital of Rathmay Limited, the parent company of ACE Winches.

Allan Pirie, CEO, Ashtead Technology

Allan Pirie, CEO, Ashtead Technology

"ACE Winches is a business we have known for many years and has an exceptional reputation as a go-to provider of lifting, pulling and deployment solutions that is highly complementary to the existing capabilities within Ashtead Technology," he said.

"While the business predominantly serves the oil and gas industry, we see a significant opportunity to redeploy the asset base in offshore renewable markets as well as further internationalising our business.

"The transaction serves to reinforce our strategy of expanding our fungible fleet and range of offshore services solutions to meaningfully enhance our customer offering, and in turn grow further market share. We look forward to welcoming new colleagues to the Ashtead Technology team and capitalising on the wealth of in-house expertise they will bring to the group."

Aberdeenshire success story

Established in 1992, ACE Winches is a market-leader in the design, assembly and rental of lifting, pulling and deployment solutions. The company's core offering supports the installation, inspection, maintenance & repair and decommissioning of offshore energy infrastructure, which Ashtead Technology says is "highly complementary" to its existing equipment and services portfolio.

Valerie and Alfie Cheyne, founders of ACE Winches

Valerie and Alfie Cheyne, founders of ACE Winches

The firm was briefly part of the Balmoral Group following share purchases in 2017 and 2019 - but Alfie and Valerie Cheyne later exercised an option they had under that deal and acquired the shareholding back in November 2021.

Through a combination of its comprehensive rental fleet and 31 years of proven engineering experience and expertise, ACE Winches has built up a strong reputation amongst its traditional oil and gas customers and has more recently seen success in expanding into the offshore renewables market.

With nearly 80%. of ACE Winches' revenue generated outside of the UK, supported by operations in Norway and sales offices in the UAE and USA, the acquisition offers a significant opportunity for Ashtead Technology to further expand its global offering across its existing international footprint.

ACE Winches is Ashtead Technology's eighth acquisition in the last six years and follows the Group's acquisitions of WeSubsea and Hiretech, in 2022.

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