Serafin Group Acquires UK Tire Recycling Firms

German private equity firm sees growth opportunities in the sports and recreation sectors.

November 5, 2013
RTGE Staff
Legislation & Regulations Tires

Private equity firm Serafin Group, based in Munich, has acquired the U.K.-based companies Charles Lawrence International Ltd. (CLI) and Playtop Licensing Ltd. in a transaction that was completed in mid-October of 2013. CLI produces tire recycling machinery, a tire recycling plant and manufactures shredded rubber products. Playtop provides surfacing products for recreational applications.

Serafin had recently entered the sports surface and synthetic surfacing business through the acquisition of the Swiss-based Conica’s sports surfaces business earlier in 2013. Serafin is already involved in synthetic surfacing. The latest acquisition expands Serafin’s business in the sports and play sector and provides a platform for growth in the U.K. and Scandinavia.

Serafin says both acquired companies will benefit from this transaction by the opening up of new growth perspectives. As part of the overall strategy to further develop all of its portfolio companies Serafin intends to continue its expansion in the flooring segment.

CLI is involved in the recycling of end-of-life commercial vehicle tires to produce rubber and steel products. It supplies tire rubber granulate, colored rubber granulate and polyurethane binders to sports and playground surface installers throughout the U.K. CLI also has an engineering division that makes machinery for the installation and maintenance of sports and play surfaces.

Playtop Licensing is the owner and brand custodian of Playtop, a playground surfacing product. Developed by the Charles Lawrence Group, Playtop was first installed in the U.K. in 1977. The company has since developed a network of more than 40 partners worldwide who install Playtop under license.

Says Charles Lawrence, founder of CLI and Playtop, “I am very pleased that we have completed the sale of Charles Lawrence International and Playtop Licensing to Serafin Group. After 52 years in business I can retire with confidence that this transaction will be a good one for employees and customers alike. The Serafin Group brings extensive experience and expertise in business which will be invaluable to the future development of the companies. While I am, of course, sad to be retiring after a lifetime [of] work, I am delighted that my colleagues Nigel Allen and Richard Hills will be continuing with the new Group as CEO and CFO respectively.”