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Belle Group and Altrad in merger talks

Published: 23 September 2008
Proposed merger will assist in meeting customer expectations and allow the new company to offer a wide range of products that meet all sourcing criteria, says md of Belle.
UK tool and equipment manufacturer Belle Group is holding merger talks with the French scaffolding and cement mixer manufacturer, Altrad Group.

If the two parties agree, the merger is likely to be completed during the first quarter of 2009.

It is believed that the merger would let the merged company offer a broad range of products and maintain or increase the rate of product development.

According to reports, Altrad's £332m (€419m) turnover business combined with Belle's £52 (€65m) would make the merged company particularly strong in exports.

In August this year Ron Blackhurst, chairman of the Belle Group, received a 2008 Queen's Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade.

Dr Altrad, ceo and the majority shareholder of Altrad, said the merger is in line with its long term strategy.

Mr Ron Blackhurst, chairman and the majority shareholder in Belle Holdings Ltd, said he is 'excited' about the merger.

"It will ensure the product development that has been achieved over recent years can be continued and the strategy to become the ideal supplier to the rental customers, retail customers and professional users can be progressed," Mr Blackhurst said.

He added: "This will be positive for the employees based at the factories in the UK and Poland and offices around the world."

Mr Ray Neilson, managing director of the Belle Group, said: "The proposed merger will assist in fulfilling the customer expectations and enable the company to continue to develop."

The management teams in the two groups will remain in place.

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