An industrial safety business born in a spare bedroom in 1983 and based in Barry has been bought by an international corporation. Scafftag and its affiliate company Safetrak specialise in products that help companies meet legislative requirements for safety standards in the oil and gas, construction, and scaffolding industries.
It has been bought for an undisclosed sum – understood to be in seven figures – by Brady Corporation, which this year has had sales of more than £1bn.
Scafftag is a family business which has grown to have offices and manufacturing centres in Houston, Dubai and Perth, Western Australia. It trades in 43 countries, and high-profile projects include work for Aardman Features in Bristol on the film set of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Its products include safety tags, inspection manuals, and weatherproof holders, as well as relevant software systems.
With sales of approximately £4m this year, the company employs 45 people in its global operations.
The deal was orchestrated and structured by Gambit Corporate Finance and M&A Solicitors. Frank Holmes and Tanya Phillips of Gambit acted for Scafftag's shareholders.
Ms Phillips said, 'This was a great result for the shareholders in terms of an exit valuation being a multiple of turnover whilst securing the worldwide development of the business and its employees' future welfare.'
Though the company had grown swiftly in the past two decades it was still considered an SME on the global stage. Options considered last year included flotation, but management has opted to join with the American business.
Greg Anapol, Brady's UK managing director, said, 'Scafftag is a strong strategic fit to Brady's multi-region operation business in safety and facility identification. This acquisition will allow us to enter new markets and leverage sales through our safety distributors and direct marketing channels.'
Subsidiary Safetrak's Radio Frequency Identification technology will also give Brady entry to a lucrative niche market. Electronic tags give precise, instant and up-to-date information about equipment.
Scafftag's David Mitchell said, 'Safetrak RFID systems were the result of the study of the Cullen report into the events which led up to the explosion and resulting fires with great loss of life on the oil platform Piper Alfa in 1986. Safetrak won the Lord Cullen safety innovation award for the North Sea Oil Industry in 2004.'
Brady Corporation products include labels and signs, safety devices, printing systems and software, and precision die-cut materials. Founded in 1914, the company serves the electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, electrical, construction, education, and medical sectors, as well as a variety of other industries. Brady is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and employs more than 9,000 people in the Americas, Europe and the Asian-Pacific. The company's fiscal 2006 sales were approximately $1.018bn.