US defence group makes first landing in Europe with buyout of fabricators
A CASTLE Donington aerospace engineering business has been welded to a US aerospace and defence group in a multi-million-pound deal.
Paul Fabrications has been acquired by Oklahoma-based AGC Aerospace and Defense.
The transaction gives the US company its first base outside its home market and is designed to help it grow business in Europe and Asia.
Paul Fabrications, established in 1937, designs and manufactures complex, high-precision, fabricated and machined metal parts and assemblies for the aerospace and nuclear power refuelling industries, including components for high-temperature applications with parts used in both commercial and military aircraft.
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Its customers include global engineering heavyweights Rolls-Royce, Meggitt, FACC, Alstom and Westinghouse.
The sale of the business came about due to the forthcoming retirement of major shareholders managing director Ingard Sagstad and finance director Alan Turner.
Paul Fabrications is the latest in a number of acquisitions for AGC but the first in Europe.
Al Haase, chief executive officer at the AGC Composites and Aerostructures Group, said: "It has always been the plan to have a balanced domestic and international presence. The group has been very successful at acquiring high-quality companies in the United States and driving substantial, profitable growth.
"As our focus turned towards the UK and Europe we sought to find similar well-managed, high-quality companies with demonstrated superior product or skills offerings.
"Paul Fabrications was one such company.
"Led by a strong and capable management team, Paul Fabs has established itself as a key player in the design and manufacture of high-precision parts and assemblies.
"Paul Fabs is our first platform company in the UK and provides the foundation for further growth and expansion in the UK, Europe and Asia."
As well as expanding AGC's international presence, the thinking behind the acquisition is to combine Paul Fabrications' precision sheet-metal machining and assembly skills with the US firm's composites expertise.
Mr Haase said: "Based upon our past experience and our view of the market, we expect that this business will grow substantially over the next few years."
Ingard Sagstad and Alan Turner will stay on until autumn next year to assist with the transition to the new ownership.
Mr Sagstad said: "It was not really difficult finding a buyer for the firm, with most of the interest coming from North America. The deal is a very good fit as there is some synergy and some points of difference between the companies, which means there is healthy potential for growth.
"Myself and Alan will be staying with the firm for the next nine months to assist in the transition to the new ownership and we are very pleased that the new owners' attitude to developing the company and its workforce is so close to our own."