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  • Aberdeen-based ICR Integrity plans further expansion with backing from Graphite Capital

Aberdeen-based ICR Integrity plans further expansion with backing from Graphite Capital

Friday, Mar 21, 2020

Aberdeen-based integrity and maintenance specialist ICR has been acquired by Graphite Capital.

The group of companies, which comprises of Walker Technical, NECE, MOSS and CIU, was sold by Gresham Equity Partners to the UK mid-market private equity firm.

Graphite will hold the majority stake in ICR through its equity investment, with debt funding being provided by HSBC and RBS.  The existing management team, Willie Rennie CEO, Andy Bruce COO and Gordon Davidson Finance Director will remain in place with Bob Forbes being appointed as the company’s Executive Chairman.

ICR, which now has an operational base in the Middle East in addition to its locations across Aberdeen, Ellon and in Kendal, will achieve a turnover in excess of £30million this financial year, a 50% increase on the previous year and a five-fold increase on its £6million turnover in 2011. In the three years that Gresham has backed the firm, it has made three key acquisitions, undertaken a Joint Venture with Australian-based Inovas, achieved substantial international expansion and seen its team grow from 45 to 170 across the group.

With Graphite Capital’s support, ICR plans to enter its next phase of organic growth, with further potential acquisitions and the establishment of international bases in other key regions. It will also seek to invest in developing its offering and widen its range of services across the group.   In the Middle East, ICR has already expanded the size of its team, opened an office in Dubai and entered new markets including Iraq.   All of the businesses have substantially grown in their home UK market, adding new services and products to meet growing customer demand for their innovative solutions. Plans are well under way for investment in additional property, increased staff levels and additional equipment across all group companies.

ICR’s Chief Executive Willie Rennie said, “Since Gresham came on board in 2011, ICR has developed its offering significantly. We are delighted with the growth the business has achieved and with the support we have received from Gresham and HSBC. From the outset they supported our vision for ICR and its buy and build approach. As a result, we are now very much looking forward to the next phase of ICR’s evolution with Graphite Capital which brings us a wealth of experience in our sector.”

Graphite’s Senior Partner Mike Innes said, “ICR’s experienced management team has created a fast-growing group that is well placed in attractive markets. The oil and gas services sector is one we know well and we look forward to working with the team.”

Nick Dalgarno, Managing Director at Simmons and Company International Ltd, said, “This is a great result for ICR – a local company with significant global prospects. Graphite’s investment will support the continued growth of the group in a fast growing niche sector of the oil and gas industry. With its current requirement to extend the life of ageing infrastructure, the industry is in need of the support of high quality service providers like ICR. We have enjoyed a long term relationship with the ICR team and are please to have been able to successfully advise on this deal.”

Iain Wolstenholme of Gresham commented “We are very proud of ICR’s growth under our ownership. From the beginning there was a strategic ambition shared with Willie and management to create an international group focused on integrity services for the oil and gas sector”.

ICR’s Chief Operating Officer, Andy Bruce commented that “We are already laying the foundations for future growth and would like to thank all our staff for their continued hard work and dedication.  We could not have achieved this level of growth without their support.”

ICRICR Integrity Ltd is an international integrity and maintenance group of companies in the energy and other industry sectors. ICR harnesses the integrity, corrosion, maintenance and repair capabilities as a platform from which to build a group of companies on a global scale. ICR has offices in Aberdeen, Ellon and Kendal, UK and Dubai, Middle East as well as a joint-venture in Perth, Australia. The group is composed of the following companies: Walker Technical, North East Corrosion Engineers, Mechanical On Site Services and Chemical Injection Utilities.

For more information, visit

Graphite CapitalGraphite is a specialist provider of private equity finance to mid-market companies in the UK. Graphite focuses on management buy-outs, expansion capital and turnaround opportunities. It invests in transactions with enterprise values of £25 million to £200 million. Graphite manages £1.5 billion through four private funds and the publicly-quoted Graphite Enterprise Trust PLC.In late 2013, Graphite Capital raised £500 million for its eighth fund, Graphite Capital Partners VIII. The ICR transaction is the second investment in the fund. Last December, Graphite backed City & County Healthcare Group, the UK’s fourth largest home care provider. The previous fund, Graphite Capital Partners VII, has made investments in a variety of industry sectors, including Education Personnel, the leading provider of supply teachers and support staff to schools in England and Wales; London Square, a fast-growing house-builder focused on developing prime sites within the M25; Rex Restaurant Associates, operator of The Wolseley, The Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel and Colbert restaurants; and Hawksmoor, which runs four successful, high-end steak restaurants. Successful sales include luxury shoe retailer Kurt Geiger and global provider of talent acquisition and management services Alexander Mann Solutions.

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Gresham Equity PartnersGresham is a specialist UK lower mid-market growth investor, focusing on management buy-outs of companies typically valued up to around £50 million. With regional offices in Birmingham, London and Manchester it has particular expertise in Support Services and Financial Services. Gresham uses its strong networks and expertise to help businesses professionalise and grow to their next stage of development, whether through organic, acquisitive or international expansion.Gresham LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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