Deal done:
Sale of Precision Engineering Company

Turnover:  £3.4m
Deal completed in:      9 months

The Company

A well-established 40-year-old business with long-standing clients in the Oil & Gas, Industrial pumps, Defence and Aerospace sectors, which offered a wide range of services including: prototype development and batch production, full CNC machining and turning, conventional machining, precision TIG Welding, mechanical and electrical assembly, leak flow testing, powder coating and bead blasting.

Based in south-east England, the company had considerable scope and capacity for growth within its existing facilities. The owners had consistently invested in new equipment which gave the company a high level of precision engineering capability and no immediate investment in plant was required.

For a full description of the business, please click here.

The Situation

The majority shareholder (vendor) had reached retirement age and wished to exit following a successful sale and handover. Hornblower was introduced to the vendor by their longstanding accountant.

A strong second-tier management team was in place and able to run the business day-to-day with its 40 employees. However, it was decided that new external leadership and investment in sales activity would provide the best route to securing the ongoing success and growth of the company.

Whilst the business was very buoyant, the vendors had relied on the ongoing business from the existing client base for a number of years. There was therefore potential for significant growth through targeting other markets and setting up a more focused sales and bid management team to go out and win new and larger contracts.

The company presented an excellent opportunity for an investment group to acquire a profitable business with minimal outstanding loans, management capability in place and a solid basis and market for growth.

What Hornblower Did

Hornblower was first able to target its large database of potential buyers in the precision engineering sector, including both larger precision engineering companies and investor groups.

Within 3 months, we had generated over 60 enquiries and assessed the funding arrangements of the most viable. This was followed by the attendance at meetings between the vendors and 7 of the potential acquirers through which the best all-round match was determined.

Our Managing Director Henry Campbell-Jones led and managed the entire sales process from initial meetings with the vendor through to negotiating final offers and agreeing ‘Heads of Terms’ with the preferred bidder.

After just 9 months a sale of 100% of the shares was agreed, with the vendor agreeing to a handover period of up to 12 months prior to his retirement.

SOLD – May 2018