The golden rule for successful acquisitions

CEO Nicholas Anderson on the essence of FTSE 250 engineering firm Spirax Sarco's M&A strategy.

by Adam Gale

Nicholas Anderson is CEO of FTSE 250 stalwart Spirax Sarco, a world leading manufacturer of steam and thermal valves. When Anderson took the top spot at the Cheltenham-based niche engineering firm in 2013, the company’s strategy was primarily built on organic growth. It had served Spirax well – long-term compound average growth rate was, and remains, about 7%.

Anderson decided to complement this organic expansion with some choice acquisitions, including two that completed in 2017: US thermal technology firm Chromalox (bought for $415 million) and Germany’s Gestra (€186 million), which specialises in boiler control systems. Here, he shares his rationale and what he learned about getting acquisitions right.


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