Metrotect flotation in pipeline

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METROTECT, the West Yorkshire pipeline materials group, is planning to join the stock market in the next few weeks, with a value on the company of about pounds 20m, writes Neil Thapar.

The flotation, through a share placing by Panmure Gordon, comes three years after Metrotect was bought out by its managers from BPB Industries, the plasterboard group, with pounds 5m equity backing from 3i and County Natwest Ventures.

The group makes coatings used to protect oil, gas and water pipelines from corrosion and other hazards, and is the world's leading supplier of glass-fibre pipeline outer-wraps. About 90 per cent of output is exported, with many of the Middle East's oil producers among its main customers.

Last July, the company acquired a specialist coatings business from MTM, the chemical group, for an undisclosed sum.

According to documents filed at Companies House, it boosted taxable profits from pounds 572,000 in 1991 to pounds 679,000 for the year to 31 March 1992, on turnover up from pounds 8.9m to pounds 11.4m.

Helped by a weaker pound and a boom in orders from the Far East, its profits are understood to have surged ahead last year.