David Brown Systems

David Brown Systems is a UK based engineering company with an established >150 year history principally engaged in the manufacture of industrial components including significant operations in industrial gear boxes and hydraulic components.

August 2013
Investment Date

Case study

Business Overview

  • Headquartered in the UK, with significant global operations
  • Deep experience and understanding of the engineering sector within PDM and the Permira Industrials team


Investment Thesis

  • Large and growing order book
  • Focus on components where lead times/quality (not price) are paramount
  • Heavy investment already completed to “productise” engineering expertise
  • Global network of local service centres for gear box repair and maintenance
  • Favourable security position; strong downside protection



  • Proprietary origination; exclusive process
  • Strong institutional relationship with sponsor (Clyde Blowers)
  • Significant experience and understanding of industry within PDM team