Express Engineering secures LDC investment for growth

Express Engineering (“Express”), one of the UK’s largest precision engineering businesses, has secured a fresh capital injection from LDC to accelerate its expansion strategy.

The deal backs the management team of Express, led by founder and Chairman Chris Thompson and Managing Director Nigel Davison, to continue to grow the business and to capitalise on highly positive growth dynamics in the international oil and gas sector. LDC has taken a minority equity stake in the business as part of the transaction.

Express supplies high quality precision machined components and products into the oil and gas market. Its global customer base includes FMC Technologies, Aker Solutions, GE (Vetco), Cameron, Schlumberger, National Oilwell Varco and Weatherford.

The business, which is headquartered and has major operations in Gateshead, also has a rapidly growing subsidiary called Petrotec in Sao Paulo, Brazil and also recently acquired the trade and assets of the Stokesley-based engineering business Burdon Limited.

For the financial year ending March 2013, the combined group recorded revenues of circa £30million, which represents an almost three-fold increase since 2010.

John Garner, Director and Head of LDC in Yorkshire and the North East, who was supported on the transaction by Investment Director Dale Alderson, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be investing alongside Chris, Nigel and the team in what is a first class business with compelling growth aspirations. Our investment will allow Express to further broaden its proposition and bring much needed capacity into the market.

“In recent years, the team at Express has done an exceptional job of growing the business. The outlook for the oil and gas market is compelling and there are very few businesses in the sector with Express’ quality of service, breadth of capability or global footprint.”

Nigel Davison, Managing Director at Express Engineering, said “With its deep-rooted sector expertise, track record and international credentials, LDC is the perfect partner to help deliver our long term growth objectives.

“Our business has grown rapidly in recent years to become one of the leading players in the precision engineering market. The investment, alongside the operational support from LDC, will strengthen our ability to service a flourishing domestic oil and gas sector, further develop our manufacturing operations in Brazil and explore other foreign market opportunities for growth.”

Express and its management team were advised by Newcastle-based PwC Partner Paul Mankin and Martin Hulls of Ward Hadaway.

LDC was advised on the acquisition by Dan Renton from Deloitte’s corporate finance advisory team, while legal advice was provided by Jonathan Jones of Squire Sanders.

A package of senior debt facilities to support the transaction was provided by Express’ long term banking partner Lloyds Bank. The deal was led by Director Jimmy Williamson from Lloyds Bank’s Acquisition Finance team and Commercial Banking’s Head of Mid Markets for the North East and North Cumbria, Mike Mullaney.

Notes to Editors

  1. LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  
  2. LDC backs ambitious management teams from UK-based medium sized companies seeking up to £100m of investment to fund management buyouts or development capital transactions.
  3. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure, Support Services, Construction & Property and Financial Services.
  4. LDC has a UK regional network with locations in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading.