Big changes at major manufacturer Severn Glocon after new owners are revealed
By Andrew Merrell | 7th January 2020
It is all change at the helm of Gloucestershire engineering firm Severn Glocon after a multi-million pound investment from a private equity firm.
Those who have followed its story will know how Maurice Critchley, who was raised in Stroud and left school at 17 after failing to make it to university, bought the then little-known, small-scale business more than 30 years ago with a bank loan.
Its leader and figurehead ever since, he has steered the Gloucester firm to incredible growth - to today, where it supplies valves to the oil and gas industry and employs 900 staff worldwide, including 370 in the UK.
Now in his early seventies Mr Critchley steps into a new role as a non-executive director role of the company, remaining as an investor, after Blue Water Energy bought into the Quedgeley business promising "ambitious five-year plan for growth following".
"The planned growth and expansion of Severn will enhance job security. Our goal is to achieve a £250 million turnover by 2025. This will mean achieving roughly 20 per cent growth per year.
"It's ambitious, but with Blue Water Energy's investment we believe it is achievable," according to a statement from Severn Glocon.
Colin Findlay has been introduced as the new chief executive officer by the London-based private equity firm, which describes itself as "a leading mid-market energy investment firm" dealing with the oil and gas private equity sector.
Christopher Powell continues in his role as chairman.
Mr Critchley said: "Having created an excellent global manufacturing business over the past 30 years, I am pleased to see it in good hands and I look forward to supporting our new CEO, Colin Findlay, and Blue Water Energy, in taking Severn Glocon to the next level around the world."
Mr Findlay said: "I am very proud to step into the role, leading the highly experienced Severn team. Our development plans are now in place and backed by Blue Water Energy.
"We are confident that our markets are strong and Severn will continue to punch above its weight with specialised products in all of its core markets."
Mr Findlay, who has worked at Severn for the past 14 years, is also chairman of the British Valve and Actuator Association (BVAA).
Salil Oberoi, Blue Water Energy director, said: "We are delighted to be working with this hidden gem of British industry. We are excited to work with Colin Findlay and his team as we embark on the next chapter of the Severn Glocon story.
"Blue Water Energy brings a wealth of experience in growing energy related companies and we share the same ambitious growth plans for Severn Glocon that Colin and his team have. We are also are grateful to have Maurice Critchley in his new advisory role on the board and the experience he brings."
Blue Water Energy said it had agreed to provide investment and expertise and is committed to supporting Severn Glocon in its goals.
Apparently the multi-million pound investment from energy investor Blue Water Energy, "subject to certain conditions precedent", will see Mr Findlay "lead the implementation of a new plan for expansion and a focus on new product development".
Severn Glocon has manufacturing locations in Gloucestershire, Yorkshire and Chennai.
Based in London, Blue Water Energy today has $2.5bn under management across two funds as it continues to build on its global track record of value-adding investment.
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