Manufacturing business changes hands in management buyout

Stephen Gregson

A Manchester-based manufacturing and engineering firm specialising in the aerospace and defence sectors has been purchased by three of its management team, for an undisclosed sum.

Atec Engineering Solutions employs around 43 staff at its site in Worsley, designing, manufacturing and maintaining complex control and monitoring equipment for defence land, sea, and air sectors as well as the industrial oil and gas and nuclear markets.

The management buyout has been completed without any external debt or equity funding and will allow the firm to pursue its plan to expand its capabilities within existing and new customers as well as exploring new market sectors.

John Bowden will become Atec’s new managing director and will be supported by Mark Poole, operations manager, and Steve Atherton, finance manager, as the other two managers involved in the buyout.

Current owner and managing director, Andrea Hough, will remain as chairman and will assist the team in forming its business strategy and guiding it forward in line with its sales targets as well as retaining a minority stake in the firm.

Andrea Hough said: “This exciting announcement will allow Atec to grasp the huge opportunities in developing industries such as nuclear power.

“Atec has been a huge part of my life since joining the company as an apprentice when I left school, but in John and the rest of the management team the company has a fantastic new management team who are well placed to drive it forward.”

Atec has a long history in engineering under several different brands and was purchased by Andrea and her business partner, Terry Madden, in 2004 following a company restructure. Andrea then became sole shareholder in 2016.

Accountancy and business advisory firm MHA Moore and Smalley helped to facilitate the management buyout. Corporate finance director Stephen Gregson led the advisory team, along with Michelle Taylor and Tony Medcalf providing taxation advice.

Chris Ross and Nina Latham from Mills and Reeve acted as legal advisors to Atec’s management team and Katie Parker at Addleshaw Goddard advised Andrea Hough.

Stephen Gregson said: “This deal is a testament to the excellent business Andrea has helped to build over recent years and with the new management team Atec is well positioned for its next stage of growth.

“Both parties have been hugely helpful and open throughout the whole MBO process and we are hugely pleased to have helped structure an excellent deal for both parties.”

John Bowden said: “Having the opportunity to lead a business with the heritage of Atec is an honour and I look forward to the journey ahead with the support of a great team. This is an exciting time for Atec and I am sure we will achieve the success that the business deserves.”

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