Wednesday, February 25, 2015

News: WEC Group buys MTL

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The WEC Group has completed a deal to bring steel engineering specialist MTL Group out of administration, saving 135 jobs in Rotherham.

Supplying international blue-chip customers such as Bombardier, Rheinmetall and BAE Systems, MTL uses state of the art equipment at the 300,000 sq ft modern manufacturing facility and boasts thirteen cutting machines, including laser, waterjet, flame cutting and high definition plasma. It operates the world's largest bevel laser which is 20m long.

John Sumpton and Hunter Kelly of EY's Restructuring team were appointed earlier this year as joint administrators after the Brinsworth firm encountered difficulties on a large overseas defence contract.

On appointment of the administrators, a total of 157 employees were made redundant and 146 employees were retained to assist with ongoing operations whilst a purchaser was sought.

The Lancashire-based WEC Group, which comprises 14 companies specialising in welding and fabrication, has now announced details of its acquisition. WEC has funded a partnership deal to acquire the business and certain assets of MTL which will make the group the largest laser cutting operation in the UK's fabrication and engineering sector. Turnover is now more than £35m and MTL Group currently has an order book of more than £20m.

Wayne Wild, group commercial director at WEC, said: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement which will save the jobs of more than 135 workers in South Yorkshire.

"The restructuring deal we have completed will see us work in partnership with MTL Group's previous directors and shareholders to grow and develop the business for the benefit of customers and staff.

"MTL Group is a really great fit for our business. The company has a great track record, working with big name customers and has an impressive order book, despite the problems it has had. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the current customer base whilst securing new orders."

Karl Stewart, sales director at MTL Group, said: "The synergy with WEC Group is very strong and this deal makes both businesses much stronger entities.

"It enhances our capabilities and capacity and that is a major advantage to all our customers.

"MTL Group has certain specialities that WEC hasn’t been involved in which can now be offered to their customers, including our large laser cutting and bending capabilities.

"And WEC Group has operations and areas of expertise that we haven’t been involved in, such as its new powder coating division. The additional capacity is another massive positive that comes out of this deal."

John Sumpton, joint administrator of MTL Group and executive director at EY, added: "We are pleased to have secured this deal for MTL Group, which safeguards the future of 135 employees and represents a strong strategic fit for WEC Group.

"The support of the business' loyal customer base was critical in enabling the company to continue trading, attract strong interest from a number of parties and, ultimately, deliver a rescue deal.

"A going concern sale represents the best outcome for the company's creditors."

As part of the deal, MTL Group's sales director Karl Stewart, finance director Howard Kellett and operations director Darren Bradley remain in the senior management team following the creation of the new partnership.

MTL Group website
WEC Group website

Images: WEC Group

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