7 December 2021 | Collaboration

SRL buyout facilitates continuation of ambitious growth strategy

SRL, the UK and Republic of Ireland’s largest manufacturer and supplier of portable and temporary intelligent transport system (ITS) solutions, has been bought by 3i Infrastructure plc, in a move that will support the next phase of growth for the firm as it continues to bring innovative new products and market-leading customer service to the traffic management, construction, events and utilities sectors.

Since its 2019 management buyout, the Cheshire-based company has experienced unprecedented growth. Its product portfolio has expanded to include the most modern variable message sign (VMS) fleet on the market, work-zone protection barriers, CCTV, portable Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) technology as well as traffic signals featuring the market’s only multiphase adaptive detection system. Its distribution network is the industry’s largest, comprising 30 depots.

3i Infrastructure’s buyout will facilitate SRL’s next phase of growth, which will include development of the firm’s research and development and manufacturing capabilities, creation of innovative new products and expansion into new markets.

A London Stock Exchange listed investment company, 3i Infrastructure has longstanding experience of investing in asset intensive companies and has acquired a 92% controlling stake in SRL. The SRL management team has re-invested to secure the remaining 8% share.

SRL’s future will be steered by its new chief executive officer, Adrian Murphy, who joined the company as chief operating officer in April and whose new position marks the completion of a planned succession strategy. Murphy replaces Richard Tredwin, who will take up the role of non-executive chairman, replacing Sat Dhaiwal.

Murphy will be joined at the helm by chief finance officer John McLaughlin who has been transitioning into the role and takes over from Mike Marrison as he retires. Murphy and McLaughlin will work in close partnership with SRL’s long-standing and highly experienced leadership team that led the 2019 buyout: commercial director Alison Spooner and managing directors of the hire, manufacturing and Urban64 divisions, Malcolm Johnstone, Peter Almond and John Cleary respectively.

Said Murphy: “SRL has achieved stunning growth since 2019, and the buyout will enable the company to continue along this trajectory, bringing industry-leading, innovative mobile ITS solutions for hire and sale to our expanding market, along with further developments to our renowned customer service offer.

“In the meantime, so far as our customers are concerned, on an operational level it will be 100% business-as-usual.”

Founded in 1997, SRL offers unrivalled expertise, supported by over 170 employees and 150 specialist vehicles. An industry pioneer, the company developed– and achieved Type Approval for – the UK and Republic of Ireland’s first multi-phase temporary traffic and pedestrian systems. A core focus of SRL’s ongoing investment and product development strategy is the narrowing of the technological divide between temporary and permanent technology.

Photos courtesy of SRL – L to R, Adrian Murphy, John McLaughlin.