In a move similar to the McNally Bharat Engineering acquisition of KHD’s Coal & Mineral Technologies last year, Hindustan Dorr Oliver Ltd. (HDO) has bought the Sheffield-based heavy engineering company Davy Markham from Endless LLP. HDO is itself now a subsidiary of IVRCL Infrastructures and Projects Ltd., a group with a turnover said to be in excess of $1 billion.

Headquartered in Mumbai, HDO is an EPC company previously primarily active in minerals beneficiation, fertilizers, pulp and paper applications of, initially, Dorr-Oliver technology. It has a 40,000-m2 manufacturing plant built at Ahmedabad in 1977, a government-certified R&D facility and branches in Kolkata, Chennai and Noida.  Today the firm is also exploring opportunities in oil and gas, uranium processing and the nuclear power plant sector.

In DavyMarkham, HDO has acquired a business with an engineering tradition dating from 1830 and incorporating one major supplier to the steelmaking industry, Davy, and one mine hoisting and tunneling specialist, Markham, which has supplied more than 300 hoists around the world, from northern Canada to Ghana, and several major tunnelling machines, including two TBMs built for the Channel Tunnel in partnership with Robbins.

However, the past 15 years since Davy and Markham were acquired by Kvaerner through the takeover of Trafalgar House have been trying times. The Markham operation was moved from Chesterfield to the larger Davy premises in Sheffield in 1997–98 and the company was named AK Heavy Engineering in 2003. In 2006, it was renamed DavyMarkham but was near closure prior to a management buyout involving Endless LLP, an independent UK private equity house and turnaround investor.

HDO says it intends to invest strategically in new plant and equipment at the Sheffield works, will continue DavyMarkham’s apprentice training scheme and expand the sales and marketing infrastructure in India and elsewhere. “This is great news for DavyMarkham’s customers, employees and suppliers, since HDO, along with its parent, is financially strong, very growth orientated and dedicates itself to continuous improvement in all fields of its business,” said Kevin Parkin, the Sheffield firm’s managing director.

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