Belfast Telegraph

McCloskey International Group takeover should bring 'new opportunities' to Co Tyrone

Francie Molloy
Francie Molloy
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

The boss of a Canadian equipment firm has said its sale to a Finnish business in a $450m (£354m) deal is good news for its large workforce in Co Tyrone.

McCloskey International Group, which employs 400 people in Coalisland, is one of the world's biggest manufacturers of portable screening and crushing equipment. It has now been taken over by MetsoGroup.

The Northern Ireland entity reported pre-tax profits of £8.9m in its latest accounts. Its main sector for equipment sales are sand and gravel production recycling and demolition recycling.

Paschal McCloskey, who is originally from Dungiven, Co Londonderry, set up the business in 1985 and returned to his native Tyrone in 2004 to snap up a company called Viper - renamed McCloskey International.

McCloskey vice-president for sales John O'Neill said he did not believe Brexit had influenced Metso's decision.

"I don't think that's part of their logic but what they are buying is a very successful brand and company with a global presence," he said.

The business has 400 staff in Canada and around 100 in a third operation in Milwaukee.

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Mr O'Neill said the McCloskey brand would complement Metso's other operations.

"We're very strong in the UK market, in North America, Australia and they're stronger in Latin America, Africa and Asia," he said.

And he claimed there would be no change to staff on the ground in Co Tyrone.

"Metso will give us some global muscle and opportunities, and they're very excited," he said.

"It wasn't a purchase of a failing company but a fast-growing, successful brand that they want to be aligned with.

"A sale was always a part of his succession plan and Paschal thinks in Metso he's found a partner which can continue on the traditions and culture of the company."

The corporate finance team at business advisory firm ASM advised on the acquisition, continuing a long relationship with McCloskey International.

The ASM corporate finance team led the negotiation and completion of the acquisition of McCloskey International Group.

Director Michael McAllister said: "McCloskey International is one of the biggest and best engineering companies in the world and it was our pleasure to help them in the disposal of the company. We wish Mr McCloskey, the team at McCloskey International and indeed Metso the very best for the future."

Sinn Fein MP Francie Molloy said he hoped employees would be kept up to date.

"This firm is a major employer in the local area and one of the largest suppliers of screening and crushing equipment," he said.

"There are also local companies involved in the supply chain working with this company.

"It is important that workers at this firm are kept up to date with all details and they engage with them on any future developments," he added.

Belfast Telegraph