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Nevis Capital's investment chest grows following latest sale

THE Pirrie brothers Nevis Capital has sold Micro Spring and Presswork to Swedish conglomerate Indutrade in a deal thought to have valued the engineering firm at approaching £10m.

The sale comes as Milngavie-based Nevis prepares to hit the acquisition trail itself as the economic recovery boosts confidence in the outlook for the kind of growth companies it invests in.

Ian Buchan, a director at Nevis Capital, said the company has a very strong pipeline of deals.

He confirmed the firm's work in progress includes a number of companies in Scotland, which it regards as a good place to invest in currently.

Mr Buchan noted Nevis Capital has said it wants a no vote in the referendum on independence in September because it believes businesses in Scotland benefit from the country being part of the UK.

Nevis has plenty of firepower for deals after completing two disposals in three months.

The company sold the Apex generator hire business to HSS in April in what was likely a multi-million pound deal.

Mr Buchan said: "Together with our successful recent exit of Apex, the sale of Micro Spring and Presswork provides Nevis with significant funds to reinvest.

"We look forward to supporting other quality management teams in the SME (small and medium sized enterprise) market to grow and develop their businesses".

He said Nevis was pleased with the return generated on the sale of Birmingham-based Micro Spring Pressworks to Indutrade, without giving details.

The price was not disclosed.

An industry source said the deal valued Micro Spring Pressworks at approaching £10m.

Nevis acquired the business for around £5m in March 2008.

The deal was the first completed by Nevis after it was founded by John and James Pirrie, using some of the proceeds of the £62m sale of the LCH Generator business they built to Speedy Hire in 2006.

The successful disposals involving Micro Spring Pressworks and Apex vindicated Nevis' decision to focus on buying industrial services firms.

The company's portfolio includes the Dieselec generator business. However, Mr Buchan said the deals currently under consideration also involve firms in other sectors.

Nevis has a stake in the Clyde Space satellite firm which recently announced record annual orders of £3m.

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