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Pretoria mine pump supplier sold to major Swedish group

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  • Pretoria’s AQS Liquid Transfer sold to major European pump distributor AxFlow
  • Deal safeguards more than 100 jobs
  • Continuing overseas interest in South African SMEs

AxFlow Holding, based in Stockholm Sweden, has acquired the majority share in AQS Liquid Transfer, an importer and distributor of pumps in South Africa. The growth initiative is in line with AxFlow’s strategy to expand its business outside Europe.

AxFlow is a major distributor of high quality liquid fluid handling equipment with operations in 27 European countries, representing world leading manufacturers and providing comprehensive technical services tailored to the needs of a multitude of process industries.

AQS was formed in 1994 in Pretoria and from its 8 branches the company today provides a nationwide sales and pump repair service encompassing a wide range of pump types. Throughout the years AQS has built a strong market position in South Africa serving the mining industry, utilities and agriculture. Annual sales exceed 140 MZAR (US$9.1m) and the number of employees is 103.

“Having established a very strong market position in Europe over the past 25 years, we have been looking for ways to expand our business outside Europe. South Africa is an interesting market for us and an important gateway to the continent,” says Ole Weiner, President of AxFlow, and continues,

“Our growth philosophy is based on finding great local companies that we, together with the local team, can make even better. The owners of AQS have built a sound company with a fine team of engineers and service staff with a strong drive to grow the business further. We are very happy to join forces with the AQS team.”

AQS’ management, headed by Managing Director Gerhard Prinsloo, will continue to lead and drive forward the company. “We, the shareholders, directors and personnel of AQS are excited about the future with AxFlow as a partner. We fully believe in and remain committed to the economic potential of South Africa and Africa as a whole. AxFlow bring with them a wealth of opportunities, knowledge and expertise to further develop and exploit current and future markets on the continent. AxFlow has an impressive track record in Europe and a growth and development strategy that we very much want to be a part of and contribute to,” says Gerhard Prinsloo.

Xigo Director Andrew Bahlmann, who advised AQS, said: “Despite current economic uncertainty, this deal provides further confirmation that large overseas acquirers remain interested in buying South African SMEs. Axflow and AQS are a great fit together, and we wish them well in the future.”

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Posted Mar 2016
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