Door opens to new opportunities for Northern Ireland firm bought in bidding war
A door company in Co Tyrone with pre-tax profits of around £6m has been acquired by a European private equity firm after a bidding war.
O&S Holdings in Dungannon was snapped up by Sun European Partners, in the face of competition from at least three others - including a private equity firm based in Dublin.
It was set up by Peter O'Donnell as a kitchen-fitting business in 1988 before developing a niche in making and fitting PVC and vinyl-wrapped doors.
It's now shipping its bedroom and kitchen doors, for wardrobes and cupboards, all around Europe.
The company, which has sales of around £35m, employs 360 people in Dungannon and at a trade counter in Dublin. At £6m, pre-tax profits for 2014 were up 30% on the year before.
Mr O'Donnell said: "Our company has for many years been committed to investing in the local marketplace and building a future, not only for the company but also for the workforce who have supported us through our growth and development to date.
"We believe this acquisition will enhance the opportunity for the company to continue to develop for many years to come."
Its new owner, Sun European Partners, also owns bed company Dreams, golf retailer American Golf and value clotheswear brand Bon Marche.
Vice-president Chris Carney said: "O&S is an exciting company known in the marketplace for its exceptional customer service, reliability and product quality.
"It has traded well through all economic cycles and we believe that, with Sun's support, there is significant scope to increase market share and build upon the valuable customer relationships."
Barry-John Kelly of PwC Corporate Finance, which worked with O&S on the deal, said it "once again demonstrates the ability for Northern Ireland businesses to become market leaders across the UK & Ireland".
It's the first big acquisition of a Northern Ireland business since the vote to leave the EU - a move which some have said could lead to more deals as a weakened sterling makes firms cheaper to overseas buyers.