Westmeath fire protection firm pays more than €10m for Swedish company

Writech plans further European expansion after two private equity-backed deals this year

Midlands fire protection company Writech is eyeing further European expansion after buying a Swedish sprinkler supplier in a deal estimated at more than €10 million.

The Westmeath outfit's purchase of Ce Sprinkler, which is based just over an hour south of Stockholm in Nyköping, is its second acquisition of 2022. Earlier this year it paid above €20 million for British company Compco.

Writech has been on the acquisition trail since the Wright family that previously controlled the business sold a majority stake last August to private equity firm Waterland.

Writech announced the Swedish deal on the same day that it officially opened a new design and innovation centre at its Mullingar base, which it says will add 50 new jobs “in the initial phase”. The group currently employs about 300 staff.

The new centre was officially opened on Monday by local TD Robert Troy, who is Minister for State for Enterprise.

The company says the new centre boosts its ability to design, manufacture and assemble fire protection systems for businesses all on one site, which it hopes will alleviate some of the supply chain problems affecting various parts of the economy.

Ted Wright, the chief executive of Writech, said the Swedish deal “opens up further opportunities in new markets as we continue to expand our reach and prospects for future growth around Europe”.

Writech was founded more than 40 years ago by Mary and Thomas Wright, before it was taken over in 2008 by their sons Ted and Alan.

The business was already highly profitable even before the deal to sell a majority stake to private equity operator Waterland. The most recently filed accounts for parent company Teal Wright Holdings show the group had sales in the 12 months to the end of last June of €22.3 million, up from €15 million in the previous year. It paid a dividend for the year of €6 million to its owners.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is Business Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Caveat column