Investment firm swoops for family-owned engineering business

Grimsby-based foundry and engineering business, Fowler & Holden, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by TGM Partners, an investment firm which specialises in buying family-owned businesses.

Founded by Hector Fowler in 1919 by Hector Fowler, Fowler & Holden employs 25 people and its turnover last year was £3m.

The company, based at a 20,000 sq ft headquarters in Railway Street, manufactures and supplies products to the construction, rail and municipal market in the UK.

More recently it has become known for its FastFlow range of drainage products which are commonly used in civil engineering works.

Nick and Sarah Kitchen, the husband and wife team who bought the company in 2010, will now exit the business as part of the deal after they appointed BTG Advisory, part of Begbies Traynor Group, to find a suitable buyer for the firm.

The pair will guide a smooth transition process to the new management team.

TGM Partners says the  acquisition fits perfectly into its existing portfolio of nine other industrial and engineering businesses and supports its long-term strategy of acquiring family-owned businesses in the UK and nurturing them for further growth.

Eric Kolodner, co-founding director of TGM Partners, said: “We are delighted to confirm the acquisition of this historic business in the heart of Grimsby.

“Fowler & Holden has a first class reputation in the marketplace, a highly skilled local workforce and demand is growing for its specialist products.

“Our team cares deeply about the incredible heritage of the business and all the staff and customers can be assured that our business plan is about stability and continuity followed by growth and development.

“We are excited about creating new relationships and partnerships for the business with our existing portfolio companies and their customers in complementary industry sectors.”

Nick Kitchen said: “I’m confident the business will prosper under TGM Partners who have exciting plans for its future.

“The fact the business has continued to grow revenues and secure new contracts and fulfil orders during a pandemic is testament to the quality of our products made here in Grimsby and the skill of the experienced team, many of who have worked at the firm for years.

“It was important to us when selecting a buyer for the business that we were assured the business will go from strength to strength under new leadership.

Emma Jones

“BTG Advisory, who have led this transaction on our behalf, have been excellent through this process.

“As an owner manager I couldn’t have wished for anything better to ensure the transaction went smoothly so an experienced and ambitious new management team can continue to move the business forwards.”

Emma Jones of BTG Advisory, who advised the vendors on the deal, added: “This is a great deal for everyone involved.

“It was particularly important to the new owners and the vendor that the staff, brand and customers were prioritised and in TGM we’ve all been assured of their long term commitment and positive approach to growing and developing the business.”