Engineering business snapped up by listed firm in £15m deal

Tadcaster-based Lambert Automation has been acquired by listed global packaging group Mpac Group for £15m.

Lambert, founded in 1973, is a provider of technology leading automation solutions to the medical and consumer healthcare markets and employs 160 staff.  In addition to the initiail £15m cash consideration, a earn-out consideration will be paid on the basis of a multiple of five times the extent to which the average annual EBITDA of Lambert for the three years ending 31 December 2021 exceeds £2.5m.

For the year ended 31 December 2018, Lambert recorded revenues of £17.9m and pre-tax profits of £1.3m. Lambert recorded an order intake of £24.5m in 2018, entering 2019 with a significantly higher order book than the previous year, providing confidence in its expected out-turn for the current financial year. It is intended that three of the existing shareholders, including Warren Limbert, Managing Director, will remain with Lambert for at least the next three years.

Limbert said:“Lambert is excited to move forward as part of the Mpac Group.  Our customers within the medical and consumer healthcare markets now expect a greater global service from their automation and technology partners and this move provides us with a differentiating product offering that covers the entire production needs of our clients. The reach of the Mpac Group organisation means we can enhance service and support to our clients globally.

“I see tremendous strategic synergies which will ensure together we establish our position as one of the world’s leading automation providers in our market.”

Mpac said the acquisition represented a compelling fit with Mpac’s strategic intent of being a market leader in the provision of full-line packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical, healthcare and food and beverage sectors.

Lambert typically works upstream in its customers’ product and production lifecycle which will enable Mpac to offer a more comprehensive and broader range of automation and packaging solutions to its customers. Mpac will enter the medical and healthcare product assembly and packaging market fulfilling the expected increase in demand for wellness products. Mpac will support Lambert’s current strategic plan, exploring the growth opportunities opened by the access to its customer base and global business network.

The acquisition of Lambert is expected to deliver sales synergies through cross-selling with the existing Mpac business and access to its global sales and service infrastructure.  In addition, cost synergies are expected including through access to Lambert’s well-developed supply chain capabilities.

Tony Steels, Chief Executive of Mpac, said: “Lambert is a high-quality business with proven performance and long-standing embedded relationships with global blue-chip customers.  Clear synergies exist in the market, technologies and supply chain which will provide our customers and potential new customers even greater confidence in the delivery of complete turn-key packaging solutions.  Lambert entered 2019 with a significantly higher order book than the previous year and I am excited about the potential of the combined business and the momentum it brings to the fulfilment of our strategic plans.”

Lambert were advised by the Corporate Finance team from BDO LLP, led by partner Jason Whitworth, assistant director James Mannion and manager Eleanor Fearne and a team from the Leeds office of global law firm Squire Patton Boggs, led by Corporate partner Paul Mann and associate Guy Ruddy.

Mpac were advised by Ernst and Young LLP, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP and Fairgrove Partners.

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