Absolent Group acquires Kerstar

Telford based air extraction and filtration specialist Filtermist International – a division of Sweden’s listed Absolent Group (ABSO:SS) – has acquired UK industrial vacuum cleaner manufacturer Kerstar, in a deal advised by BCMS.

Established in 1960, Kerstar produces a range of cleaners including ATEX-accredited machines for use in explosion risk environments. The company manufactures its products in Northampton and exports to more than 19 countries worldwide through a network of approved distributors.

“We are very pleased to have found a buyer that is willing to invest in the firm to ensure it continues to grow” – Tom Starcevic, Kerstar

UK customers consist of resellers and end-users in a range of industrial sectors including food production, engineering, aerospace, power generation, local authorities and cleaning companies. Kerstar also provides a comprehensive aftersales service throughout the UK, which has resulted in a loyal customer base – an approach which perfectly aligns with Filtermist’s UK operation.

“The opportunity to add Kerstar to our portfolio offered a very interesting proposition for Filtermist,” commented Filtermist International CEO James Stansfield. “Kerstar products are used by a number of our existing customers in a range of industrial sectors so are a perfect addition to our product offering. They are also used in some markets we’re not currently active in, so offer a good opportunity to cross-sell products and services from our other business units.

“The company already has established routes to global markets, and we will be expanding this side of the business using our own channels and exporting experience.”

Deal commentary

This was the third acquisition Filtermist completed in 2019. “Acquisitions play a key role in our wider group strategic growth plans,” confirmed Stansfield. “This strategy is being rolled out worldwide; Filtermist is part of Absolent Group which recently announced two acquisitions of its own – Montreal based fume extraction specialist Diversitech Inc and Jeven Global OY, a market leader in commercial kitchen ventilation based in Finland. Absolent Group has identified six air filtration ‘platforms’ which offer significant potential for growth and all acquisitions are designed to support these strategic objectives.”

Kerstar will immediately be consolidated into Absolent Group, and its previous owners – Andrey and Tom Starcevic – will be on call for a period after the acquisition to assist with the handover and all other employees will be retained in their existing positions.

Tom Starcevic comments: “Kerstar has been a family firm for almost 60 years. In that time the business has grown significantly and achieved a huge amount. We are very pleased to have found a buyer that is willing to invest in the firm to ensure it continues to grow and we wish Filtermist every success.”

Absolent Group acquires Kerstar

Video case study

The shareholders of Kerstar engaged Martin Jaffrey to work alongside BCMS during the transaction. Here, he discusses the transaction and offers insights into the sale process