10th February 2003

Gresham , has backed the management buy-out by Andrew Steel and Steve Wenger of Altair Filter Technology, in a deal which values the specialist filter systems and acoustic equipment manufacturer at £24.5m. With an international client base, Altair’s market leading filters are used to clean the air entering gas turbines which power everything from oil and gas rigs and electricity generation units to warships and cruise liners.

The funding package includes a £14m investment by Gresham together with £10.5m in debt and working capital funding provided by Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking.

Altair has a 100-strong staff serving customers throughout the world from its head office and manufacturing base in Alton , Hampshire, and its US head quarters in Louisville , Kentucky .

The management buy-out team was led by former sales director Andrew Steel, who becomes chief executive, and Steve Wenger, managing director USA . They are buying the business from Roy Cleaver, Ian Church and private equity group 3i which backed the two previous owners in 1989.