A long-established Aberdeenshire company which provides lifting equipment to the offshore sector has been acquired in a deal worth more than £50 million.

ACE Winches, which was founded by Alfie Cheyne in 1992, has been taken over by Ashtead Technology, a subsea equipment rental specialist, for £53.5m in cash.

Ashtead declared that the deal, its eighth acquisition in the last six years, will strengthen its product and service offering in the oil and gas and offshore wind markets.

And it will raise its headcount from 320 to more than 520 employees.

Headquartered in North Aberdeenshire, with more than 200 members of staff, ACE has a fleet of more than 3,000 multi-purpose rental assets. It delivers products and services to more than 50 countries.

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Allan Pirie, chief executive of Ashtead, said: “We are delighted to announce this strategic acquisition and welcome the ACE Winches team to Ashtead Technology.

“With a 31-year operating heritage, ACE Winches is a global market leader in its field with an unrivalled reputation. It has been a business we have admired and followed for a while as we share similar values, strengths and a relentless commitment to quality, service, and operational excellence.

“The deal provides strong industrial logic adding complementary capabilities to bolster our mechanical solutions service line to deliver an enhanced and more integrated offering to a larger global customer base.”

Mr Cheyne, chairman of ACE Winches, said: “Ashtead Technology is an outstanding business with a first-class reputation and the clear synergies between both companies will give us the platform required to accelerate our growth.

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“As well as creating a tremendous opportunity for our people, becoming part of Ashtead Technology will enable us to expand our existing capabilities and international footprint in key regions including the USA and the Middle East where Ashtead Technology has an established local presence.

“We are thrilled to become part of the Ashtead Technology team and see it as the perfect home for the next chapter in our growth story.”

The ACE Winches deal follows Ashtead’s acquisitions of WeSubsea and Hiretech in 2022.