FORMER Rangers Football Club owner Sir David Murray has sold part of his metals business in a £34.5 million management buy-out (MBO) that sees him part company with key lieutenant Donald Wilson.
Wilson, who spent 25 years working with Murray, led the MBO of Premier Hytemp, which makes parts for the oil and gas industry, with financial backing from Edinburgh-based private equity firm Dunedin.
Dunedin stumped up £26.7m and has appointed partner Dougal Bennett to Edinburgh-based Premier Hytemp’s board.
Last year Scottish Enterprise hailed Premier Hytemp as “one of Scotland’s business growth success stories” because of its overseas expansion.
Murray created the company in 2008 after his Premier Alloys business took over Hytemp-owner Hillfoot Steel.
Bennett told The Scotsman that Wilson had left Murray International Holdings (MIH) to focus on his new firm.
But Murray remained tight-lipped last night over his plans to sell the rest of his metals business, which were revealed in his group’s annual accounts in April. He declined to answer questions regarding the fate of the rest of his metals empire, which he founded 37 years ago.
As well as its Edinburgh head office, Premier Hytemp has a manufacturing plant in the Scottish capital, along with facilities in Sheffield, Canada and Singapore. A base in Dubai is due to open shortly.
The firm employs more than 200 staff and last year turned over about £42m.
Bennentt said the company plans to expand its customer base in the Middle East and North and South America following the MBO.
He added: “We’re very pleased to be backing a Scottish headquartered that has the opportunity for global growth.”
Wilson was joined in the MBO by chief financial officer Will Gold and chief operations officer Doug Harrison.
Accounts for MIH revealed in the spring that Murray’s metals business was up for sale “in whole or in parts”, although he denied there was any pressure from Lloyds Banking Group to make the disposal. MIH owes Lloyds some £470m.