Balmoral Group has invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in acquiring the majority stake in a promising north-east business.
The engineering firm last night announced it had purchased 70% of Laurencekirk based Blaze Manufacturing Solutions for a “six figure sum”.
The latest move comes after Balmoral significantly raised its shareholding in another Aberdeenshire company – Ace Winches.
Having made the initial £10 million investment in Ace in 2017 for a 26% stake in the company, Balmoral then increased its holding to 70% just last month.
Blaze, established in 2006, manufactures fire safety protection, detection and loss prevention solutions for the oil and gas, renewable energy, mining, commercial and industrial sectors. It currently employs 24 people.
Last night Jim Milne, chairman and managing director of Balmoral Group said the investment was being made to help Blaze achieve its full potential nationally and internationally.
He said: “This is another exciting move for us as we see Blaze as a company with great ambition.
“They offer a raft of services to a variety of sectors with substantial potential for international growth. Our 40 years’ of engineering design and manufacturing experience will be of great benefit to Blaze I’m sure, as well as our network of contacts in the oil and gas and offshore renewables markets.”
In 2017, Blaze was named as one of the top ‘1000 UK Companies to Inspire’ by the London Stock Exchange Group and picked up two gongs at the 2019 Offshore Achievement Awards.
Blaze, run by husband and wife team Ann and Howard Johnson, plans to use the support to expand its global reach.
Mrs Johnson, finance director with the company, said: “Balmoral’s investment is much more than a cash injection. Their journey from small start-up in 1980 to an internationally recognised brand, leading its sector, is something that we aim to learn from.
“We have seen international success to a degree but are keen to build on this and take our accredited systems into new territories and markets.
“Our reputation for quality and service is recognised in the fire suppression sector and we look forward to working with the team at Balmoral to fully exploit this.”
Jim Milne joins the board at Blaze as non-executive chairman with fellow Balmoral directors, Bill Main and Kevin Binnie, also joining as directors.
Mr and Mrs Johnson will remain in position as finance director and managing director, respectively.