Azets delivers multi-million-pound metal engineering deal

The Midlands corporate finance team of Azets, the UK's largest regional accountancy and business advisor to SMEs, has advised on the multimillion-pound sale of the Ernest Engineering Group.
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The Midlands corporate finance team of Azets, the UK’s largest regional accountancy and business advisor to SMEs, has advised on the multimillion-pound sale of the Ernest Engineering Group.

The Ernest Engineering Group is a family business and was established in 1970. Based in Coventry, it specialises in the manufacture of specialist brass and steel threaded parts and trades under the names of Anchor Inserts and Bailey & Wade.

The group has been acquired by Whitehouse Industries, an organisation looking to continue to expand its offering and capabilities within the metal fastener industry.

Azets’ corporate finance team (Mark Selby, Craig Nash and Doug Allan) and tax team (Clare Clifford) advised the shareholders of Ernest Engineering on the transaction, managing the project from inception to completion. Legal advice to the shareholders was provided by Howes Percival.

Austin Wade, exiting Managing Director of Ernest Engineering said “I have been very impressed with the hard work of our advisors over the course of this process. The level of detail, resilience and professionalism that is involved in getting a transaction over the line can only be appreciated once the deal has been completed.

I am excited for what the future holds for the business under the ownership of Whitehouse Industries. As a multi-generational family business, I feel that it is in good hands to continue the successful delivery of specialist metallic parts into British and international manufacturing processes.”

Mark Selby, National Head of Corporate Finance at Azets commented, “We are delighted to have advised Austin and his family on the successful exit of the Ernest Engineering Group. With such an established market position and a highly profitable range of products, it was no surprise that the opportunity attracted significant interest from institutional investment funds and trade acquirers alike. This transaction was clear evidence that investors continue to seek quality investment and acquisition opportunities in the SME sector in traditional and profitable engineering and manufacturing businesses.

This was a very rewarding deal to be involved in, with special thanks owing to all principals and their advisors for the pragmatic approach taken throughout. We wish Stuart Whitehouse and his team all the best with future ownership of the Ernest Engineering Group.”

Andy Harris, Head of Howes Percival’s Corporate, Commercial and Banking team said “It’s always a pleasure to advise an established family-owned manufacturing business like Ernest Engineering and we do our best to de-mystify the legal process and acknowledge the extra demand the process puts on the clients’ time, as well as the emotional considerations. That everyone involved, on both sides of the deal, worked in a totally collegiate manner from the outset was key in getting it over the line with a minimum of fuss and it’s good to see the business in safe hands with Whitehouse Industries”

Stuart Whitehouse, Whitehouse Industries said: “I am delighted with the acquisition of Ernest Engineering, Bailey & Wade and Anchor inserts, who have undergone significant development over the last 10 years through the leadership of Austin Wade. With ongoing investment in sliding head CNC machines and property extensions combined with fantastic customer service the Group has gone from strength to strength and I very much look forward to maintaining this trajectory by continuing to offer our customers UK made products of the highest quality.   Many thanks to all the advisors who worked on this deal, I was very impressed with the professional and pragmatic approach adopted by both sides.”

Graham Spalding, Corporate partner Lodders said: “It was great to support Stuart and his team on this acquisition, and I have no doubt the business will continue to grow and progress under the new ownership. We wish the business every success for its continued growth and development.”

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