Metal engineering firm acquired in multimillion-pound deal

A Coventry engineering group has been bought in a multimillion-pound deal.

The Ernest Engineering Group is a family business and was established in 1970. 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, which is looking to continue to expand its offering and capabilities within the metal fastener industry.

Austin Wade, exiting managing director of Ernest Engineering, said: “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.”

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.”

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.

Legal advice to the shareholders was provided by Howes Percival.

Graham Spalding, corporate partner at Lodders, advised the buyer.

David Neate, partner, and Matthew Guest, director, at Springboard Corporate Finance, advised Whitehouse Industries.

Selby said: “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.”


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