Wilkes corporate team advise on engineering business expansion

A WARWICKSHIRE-based manufacturing technology firm has expanded with the acquisition of a specialist machine tools business in an undisclosed deal that will double the firm’s turnover to £30m.

Engineering Technology Group has taken on the UK-based machine tool sales, servicing and customer support business of global firm Hardinge.

The acquisition means that ETG will become the sole UK distributor for Hardinge and Bridgeport products and ETG’s annualised turnover will double from £15m.

Birmingham law firm, The Wilkes Partnership, and Leamington-based accountants, Burgis & Bullock advised ETG on the deal.

There is strong synergy for ETG as it already supplies high specification machine tools and fixtures and provides engineering services to manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace, and other specialist manufacturing sectors. The business has enjoyed strong growth in recent years, driven by the growth of Midlands automotive companies such as Jaguar Land Rover. The new business will be operated through ETG’s dedicated subsidiary company ETG Bridgeport.

Rick Smyth, partner in the corporate team at The Wilkes Partnership, led the legal team. He said: “Following the recent management buy-out of the Engineering Technology Group, which Wilkes also advised on, ETG was seen by Hardinge as the ideal partner for Hardinge’s transition towards concentrating on the development and manufacture of products.

“This acquisition considerably broadens the capabilities of ETG and brings with it the heritage and global recognition of the Bridgeport brand.”

John Temple, ETG’s managing director, added: “We are delighted that a company with the global reputation and product range of Hardinge has chosen us as its partner. The acquisition and the new arrangements to become sole distributor of Hardinge and Bridgeport products in the UK expands ETG’s offering into new areas with undoubted potential.”

Simon Chapman, of Burgis & Bullock Corporate Finance, acted as financial adviser to ETG and said: “This is a great success story for Midlands engineering. ETG is well placed for further growth, supporting UK manufacturers that are so vital to the economy of this country. We are delighted to have advised the business over the last three years through a re-financing, MBO, and now this latest transformational acquisition.”

The transaction was supported by Sally Beavan at Santander Corporate Banking in Birmingham.

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