Karl Stewart, sales director of MTL Group, Steve Hartley, managing director of WEC Group, Darren Bra
Clare Burnett

Member Article

135 jobs saved at Rotherham metal manufacturer firm MTL

135 jobs have been saved at Rotherham-based MTL Group, a metal manufacturer, after the UK’s largest engineering and fabrication firms WEC group funded a partnership deal to acquire the business and certain assets of the firm.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, allows the South Yorkshire company to move forward with WEC Group as a new, major force in the UK’s fabrication and engineering sector.

MTL Group’s manufacturing facility includes laser cutting and bending, high definition plasma cutting, waterjet cutting, gas profile cutting, robotic plasma tube cutting and robotic bending.

The firm entered administration on February 2 after suffering the loss of a large overseas defence contract. It has remained trading as administrators EY looked to secure its future.

MTL Group’s sales director Karl Stewart, finance director Howard Kellett and operations director Darren Bradley remain in the senior management team following the creation of the new partnership with WEC Group.

Wayne Wild, commercial director of WEC Group, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement which will save the jobs of more than 130 workers in South Yorkshire.

“The restructuring deal we have completed will see us work in partnership with MTL Group’s previous directors and shareholders to grow and develop the business for the benefit of customers and staff.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with the current customer base whilst securing new orders.”

Karl Stewart, sales director of Rotherham-based MTL Group,said: “The synergy with WEC Group is very strong and this deal makes both businesses much stronger entities.

“It enhances our capabilities and capacity and that is a major advantage to all our customers.

“MTL Group has certain specialities that WEC hasn’t been involved in which can now be offered to their customers, including our large laser cutting and bending capabilities.

“And WEC Group has operations and areas of expertise that we haven’t been involved in, such as its new powder coating division. The additional capacity is another massive positive that comes out of this deal.”

John Sumpton, joint administrator of MTL Group and executive director at EY, said: “We are pleased to have secured this deal for MTL Group, which safeguards the future of 135 employees and represents a strong strategic fit for WEC Group.

“The support of the business’ loyal customer base was critical in enabling the company to continue trading, attract strong interest from a number of parties and, ultimately, deliver a rescue deal.

“A going concern sale represents the best outcome for the company’s creditors.”

WEC Group, with its headquarters in Darwen, East Lancashire, has a turnover of more than £35 million and MTL Group currently has an order book of more than £20 million.

MTL operates from a 300,000 sq ft capacity factory in Rotherham which more than doubles WEC Group’s overall manufacturing space. It will also increase its purchasing power and its ability to handle larger metal cutting work.

Wayne Wild added: “MTL Group is a really great fit for our business. The company has a great track record, working with big name customers and has an impressive order book, despite the problems it has had.

“This move greatly increases our metal purchasing power, and it will also allow us to offer MTL Group’s expertise to our growing customer base whilst giving its customers access to the work the wider WEC Group can deliver for them.

“The partnership with MTL Group also makes us the largest laser cutting operation in the UK, with 18 machines servicing our clients. It means we can offer all our customers more.”

Steve Hartley, WEC Group founder and managing director, said: “In 35 years of trading we have always grown the business in a strategic and sustainable way.

“Adding MTL Group to our family is a logical move for us and for MTL and we look forward to the future with confidence.”

WEC Group also continues to invest in the future, with the only in-house welding and fabrication training academy in the country – ranked in the Top Three in the UK as an apprenticeship provider.

Fourteen per cent of its workforce is now made up of apprentices as it works to tackle the skills shortage in the industry.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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