Bevan Brittan's corporate team, led by recently recruited Richard Hiscoke, has completed the acquisition of the UK business of Fireboy-Xintex for the well-known US fire truck manufacturer, W S Darley & Co.  This was part of the acquisition by Darley of 3 Fireboy businesses, the other two being based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Darley was founded in 1908 and started manufacturing fire trucks in 1926 when Henry T Ford, allowed it to use his Model T chassis.  The family owned business is now led by third generation president and CEO, Paul Darley.  Under his leadership, it has diversified into a manufacturing wide range of fire detection and suppression equipment, systems, tanks, hoses and apparatus.

Founded in 1973, Fireboy is the market leader in marine pre-engineered and custom engineered fire safety and suppression equipment.  With over one million systems in service and roughly 75% of the recreational marine market, Fireboy suppression systems are well known in the marine markets. Fireboy, in common with Darley, also serves defence, commercial, industrial, truck, bus, rail and other markets.

The acquisition of the UK and US businesses of Fireboy will also provide Darley with a strategic foothold in the European market and give it a new electronics capability which will enable it to expand existing product lines.

Tiesenga Reinsma & DeBoer represented Darley on the US acquisitions.  Irwin Mitchell in the UK and Corkern, Crews, Guillet & Johnson in the US represented Fireboy.

Paul C. Darley, CEO of W.S. Darley & Co. states, “We are extremely excited about this acquisition. It is our fourth acquisition in the last 20 years and is by far the largest. Our two companies are completely aligned from a cultural aspect and we have overlapping customers in the marine and defence markets. The electronics engineering and manufacturing capabilities will enhance our position in the fire service. Bevan Brittan was able to quickly and efficiently identify the value drivers of our transaction. They provided us sound advice that we were able to rely upon.

Bevan Brittan's Richard Hiscoke, commented "Having previously worked with Mike DeBoer from Tiesenga Reinsma & DeBoer on a cross border disposal, we were delighted to be asked to act as UK counsel to W S Darley on this strategic acquisition.  Paul has a real passion for the Darley business and no doubt this latest acquisition will enable it to go from strength to strength."


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