Pipe and Piling Supplies buy-out to engineer growth for Fife firm

Glenrothes-based engineering firm Pipe and Piling Supplies (PPS) has been bought over by its managing director for an undisclosed sum.
The Fife company, which manufactures steel foundation piles and overhead structures for customers including Balfour Beatty and Network Rail, has been acquired by Alistair Cochrane with the help of Clydesdale Bank, which provided “a significant funding package” to facilitate the deal.
Cochrane, who joined PPS in 2008, has spent the last seven years expanding the business and increasing its profitability – raising its turnover in that time from £1.59 million to an estimated £20 million.
He says the boost provided by Clydesdale Bank will enable the business, which employs up to 70 staff nationwide, to pursue significant growth plans, including increased work within the UK and rail infrastructure sectors.
PPS is already involved in some of the UK’s largest rail projects, including the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).
As well as supplying the first 100 trial piles and all subsequent phases of the works, it recently provided the steel piling for major engineering works at the Winchburgh Tunnel.
The firm is also involved in the Great Western Electrification Programme and helped to deliver London’s new Canary Wharf Crossrail Station, which is part of the biggest construction project in Europe.
The station, which is due to open in 2018, has already won international acclaim for its innovative engineering and design. Built in 10m deep dock water, the site required a specially constructed cofferdam for which PPS supplied the anchor piles.
Following its rapid growth the business recently recruited three graduates and plans to create further high quality entry-level apprentice jobs as part of its expansion plans.
Cochrane said: “We are thrilled to have secured the support of Clydesdale Bank, which has a first class record in growing SMEs.
“Investment in Britain’s railway network and other infrastructure projects has provided PPS with a great opportunity to grow. Our new management team is working hand in hand with Clydesdale Bank to take advantage of the exciting opportunities in the marketplace and deliver further expansion. We also have ambitious plans to strengthen the business including a new health and safety initiative which we will showcase next year.”
Andrew Carson, senior director in Clydesdale Bank’s Specialist and Acquisition Finance team, said: “We are proud to support PPS, a strong, well-managed business which has gone from strength to strength since Alistair joined the business seven years ago.
“We believe that PPS has further growth potential and have provided a mix of facilities that will not only support the new management structure but will also enable Alistair and his team to continue building the business and achieve their growth aspirations.”

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