Leading fire service manufacturer MSA Safety acquires Bristol Uniforms

MSA Safety Incorporated, a titan of global safety equipment, has announced that it has acquired Bristol Uniforms (Bristol), a company based in the UK.

The acquisition is valued at approximately $60 million, solidifying MSA’s role as a global leader in fire service PPE. It also offers the company a chance to significantly grow its business in crucial UK and European markets.

Bristol Uniforms is a dynamic provider of protective apparel to the fire and rescue services industry, accruing an annual revenue of approximately $40 million. The business is renowned for offering high-quality turnout gear which displays practical and unique designs with industry-leading materials. Bristol Uniforms employs almost 200 people across the entirety of the UK and is marketed under the Bell Apparel brand, which aligns with MSA’s diverse portfolio in the global utilities market.

Nish Vartanian, Chairman, CEO and president of MSA, says: “Helping to keep firefighters safe has been a longstanding element of the MSA mission. The acquisition of Bristol advances that mission as well as our growth strategy to protect firefighters from head to toe with the very best in safety technology.”

Mr. Vartanian believes that the transaction contributes to the continued success of MSA. “Our entire International team, and particularly our associates in Europe, have done a terrific job over the past three years building a more agile, efficient and growth-focused organisation.  Today’s acquisition reflects the confidence we have in our team’s ability to quickly integrate Bristol into the MSA portfolio.  It also recognises the progress our team in Europe has made in executing MSA’s overall vision for growth.” 

MSA’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President Ken Krause states that this acquisition presents a unique opportunity for MSA and its fire service business.  “The fire service is a strategic market for us that has performed well through a broad range of economic cycles, including the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“Bringing Bristol under the MSA umbrella builds on our 2017 acquisition of U.S. turnout gear leader Globe, while adding another defensive element to our portfolio and providing us with an opportunity to expand MSA’s addressable market in the International segment.  With MSA’s global reach and Bristol’s strong brand equity, we’re confident in our ability to reach key geographic markets and make the Bristol brand even more successful.”

Mr. Krause noted that the acquisition is in line with MSA’s dedicated approach for capital deployment. He furthered that Bristol is expected to hurdle MSA’s cost of capital by its third year.  Apart from acquisition-related amortisation, MSA is preparing for adjusted earnings accretion of $0.03-$0.05 per share in its first year of ownership.

Bristol Deputy Chairman Ian Mitchell says: “We see today’s acquisition as a great fit for both our organisations.  From a product synergy perspective, Bristol Uniforms aligns with MSA’s existing portfolio, enhances our reach into the global turnout gear market, and it gives us new opportunities to serve our customer base with a broader range of head-to-toe firefighter protection.”  

Mr. Mitchell furthered: “Culturally, MSA and Bristol are very well-aligned, and we are excited about today’s news as we see this acquisition as a great match for both Bristol and for MSA.”

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Source: Cision

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