Napthens advises noise control manufacturer on sale to US listed group

By Napthens

24 Jan 2023

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202301 Wakefield Acoustics Ceco Wa Team

Wakefield Acoustics Ltd. (“Wakefield”), a Heckmondwike-based design and manufacturing firm that specialises in advanced industrial, commercial and environmental noise control systems, has been acquired by US-listed group CECO Environmental Corp (Nasdaq: CECO).

Leading North West law firm Napthens advised the shareholders and management team of Wakefield Acoustics on the deal, which will see the firm become a part of CECO’s Thermal Acoustics business platform. The acquisition will advance CECO’s position within the industrial silencing and noise attenuation space, adding a range of solutions as well as access to new geographic markets and industrial segments. Additionally, it will offer Wakefield the opportunity to expand its product offering globally, with CECO providing investment and routes to markets to enable this.

Wakefield Acoustics will continue to be led by managing director Kevin Still, who will work within the Thermal Acoustics platform and across CECO to drive strategic growth. The Wakefield acquisition is the latest in CECO's programmatic M&A program of the past 12 months, with 2023 revenue expected to exceed $10 million.

Founded in 1980, Wakefield has worked with many of the world’s leading blue-chip companies to solve complex noise problems often in extreme, arduous or hazardous area environments. It offers a range of products and services, ranging from acoustic silencers and sound havens, through to fully integrated turnkey solutions involving acoustic consultancy, site survey, project management and a full installation service.

The company completed a management buy-out in 2014, backed by YFM Equity Partners.

Legal advisors to Wakefield were Napthens LLP, led by head of Liverpool Kieran Donovan, Evie Hubble, Suzanne Mainwaring and Stephanie Gray. Geraint Tilsley and Natalie Wilson of Lewis Silkin LLP provided legal advice to CECO Environmental Corp.

Todd Gleason, chief executive officer at CECO Environmental Corp. said: "I am excited to welcome Wakefield Acoustics and their excellent leadership team to CECO Environmental. Wakefield is an industry-recognized brand, with more than 40 years of engineering leadership in the industrial acoustics market. With our complementary suite of products and solutions, CECO will be well-positioned to expand in the high-growth energy and green markets in Europe and beyond."

"The acquisition fits perfectly within our strategy to advance our industrial air leadership position while also accessing additional energy transition markets for sustainable growth."

Kevin Still, managing director at Wakefield Acoustics, said: “Wakefield Acoustics has been on an impressive journey since the MBO in 2014. We have seen a transformation in our product offering and customer base which has led to significant growth. We firmly believe that CECO Environmental is the ideal home for Wakefield Acoustics to continue this journey. As part of CECO, we will be able to provide our customers and people with greater access to industry-leading experience, a much wider product offering, and the opportunity to share our expertise with more of the world.”

Kieran Donovan, corporate partner and head of Liverpool at Napthens said: “It’s been a pleasure to have worked with YFM Equity Partners and the shareholders of Wakefield Acoustics on their successful exit to CECO. The US listed group has acquired a market leading business and I look forward to seeing its team export Wakefield’s specialist services and products to the global market.”

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