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Sertec’s biggest acquisition sees new foothold in Europe

Release date: 25th August 2016

Major automotive supplier The Sertec Group has announced their largest ever take over with the 100% acquisition of Midlands headquartered WILD automotive (AWC Industries Ltd) creating a £250m turnover Group with 10 manufacturing plants across the UK, Germany and Hungary.

Wild logoThe deal represents a transformational opportunity for Sertec through enhancing its product capabilities, customer portfolio and providing an international platform at the heart of the European automotive hub.

The WILD group of businesses specialise in the manufacture of high quality technical components and assemblies for Automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.

Specifically, WILD’s expertise is in precision components, fine blanked components, wire forming, wire seat frames, spring parts and complex stamped assemblies, with the business enjoying a leading market share in the supply of wire seat frames to the UK automotive industry.

Whilst Sertec currently manufactures wire products, this is not its core capability and the acquisition of WILD will significantly enhance the company’s offering to both existing and potential customers.

With WILD’s manufacturing plants in Witton Birmingham, Redditch, Hungary and Germany, this is the perfect fit for Sertec to fulfil its European expansion plans.

Combined with Sertec’s primary experience in steel and aluminium body structural assemblies, WILD’s own strengths present an exciting opportunity to diversify into the manufacture of other components, in areas of a vehicle not yet explored by Sertec.

The acquisition is precisely the kind of accelerated growth provided for by the £20m funding invested in Sertec by Business Growth Fund (BGF) and Lloyds Banking Group back in February this year. Both have invested further to support this latest transaction, alongside Santander Bank, which makes its first syndicated contribution to the growth plans of Sertec.  In addition, K&H provided local asset finance in Hungary. 
 
Sertec Group Managing Director Dave Steggles said “This is probably the most important acquisition in Sertec’s history, not only because of the size of the business, but because of the new opportunities it presents.  The expertise and experience of the Wilds Management Team will be invaluable in our future growth plans.

WILD’s skill set complements ours and together we can develop an even broader engineering expertise to offer our combined customer base. Whilst we can now provide our own customers even greater capability on wire and spring products, we very much look forward to working with the new customers WILD brings to the Group, and the opportunity to introduce our expertise to their businesses.

Additionally, our continuing development and knowledge in lightweight technologies is enhanced by the engineering resource now available to us at WILD’s facility in Germany.
The Germany and Hungary operations give us the foothold in both Western and Eastern Europe we were looking for, to help support our own existing customers’ expansion. This is absolutely right for Sertec in so many ways.”

Sertec CEO Grant Adams said “The additional support of our funding partners has enabled us to implement this, the next stage of our growth plans and it comes hot on the heels of our agreement to centralise our Logistics operation at Hams Hall Estate. This acquisition is essential to not only our own vision, but to that of our major customers.

I would also like to acknowledge Allan Cook and his management team for their outstanding work in building WILD into the business it is today. As Allan retires from the business, I can assure him that the contribution of his business to the Sertec Group will be significant and vitally important to our future”.

The Midlands deal team at PWC acted as both lead advisor on the acquisition and provided debt advisory support for the refinancing with Weightmans providing legal advice to Sertec. Quercus & Penningtons acted on behalf of AWC Industries.