FAMILY run steel business Hillfoot Steel Group has been sold to Scottish conglomerate Murray International Holdings for an estimated £30m plus in a deal which will fast track the group's expansion plans.
Most of Sheffield-based Hillfoot's business is in the booming oil and gas sector where the group makes parts for specialist wellheads – the steel units that go on top of wells under the sea.
While Hillfoot has grown rapidly over the past five years following the appointment of Stephen Hepplewhite as chief executive, the group needs the backing of a bigger business if it is to go on to the next stage of growth.
"We've got a really successful business, but to go on to the next stage we need a large group that can make the necessary investment," said Mr Hepplewhite. "Murray is buying Hillfoot in order to expand and develop the business."
He added that Murray Metals Group, the metals subsidiary of Murray International, would be making a strong commitment to the Sheffield operation and to expanding the business.
The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but analysts estimated it would be sold for over £30m based on a calculation of six to seven times earnings.