All change at Express

It is all change at Express Engineering as the company gears up for further growth, following a deal with mid-market private equity investor LDC.

A new group structure and a raft of promotions and new appointments will see the business seek to expand in three sectors. Under the revised structure, operations at Team Valley will be re-branded as Express Engineering Oil and Gas and will focus completely on a sector which has delivered huge growth for the company in recent years.

Aerospace work will be transferred to the Stokesley site, acquired from Burdon last August and will be known as Express Engineering Aerospace. Other operations there will come under the remit of Express Engineering Industrial. Activities in Brazil, where the group owns Petrotec, will remain unchanged.

Managing Director, Nigel Davison has become Chief Executive Officer of a new Express Engineering Group, with Finance Director Mike Blakey stepping up to that role at group level.

Gary Thirlwell, previously Commercial Director, has become the MD at Express Engineering Oil and Gas and former employee, Neil Ransom, who left 10 years ago to work in the south, returns as Commercial Director.

The private equity investment agreement, signed last October, saw LDC take a minority stake in Express and was designed to provide capital to make investment for growth, which could not be funded by the company alone. The transaction also demonstrated LDC’s commitment to the manufacturing and specialist engineering sector.

Said Nigel Davison: “Over the past five years we have invested significantly in our premises, our equipment and our people, putting us in an excellent position to take advantage of improving markets. But our ambitions were such that we needed a reliable investment partner which understood our business and our markets.

“With its deep-rooted sector expertise, track record and international credentials, LDC is the perfect partner to help deliver our long term growth objectives and that is what this reorganisation is designed to support.”

John Garner, Director and Head of LDC in Yorkshire and the North East, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting 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.”

Since its launch, 41 years ago, Express has grown to become a globally recognised contract manufacturing company. From its 200,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities on the Team Valley at Gateshead, at Stokesley in North Yorkshire and Sao Paulo in Brazil, the 375 strong workforce supplies precision engineering services to the aerospace, sub sea oil and gas exploration and production and yellow goods sectors.

The global customer base includes Rolls Royce, British Aerospace, Caterpillar, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, UTC Aerospace, FMC Technologies, Aker Solutions, GE (Vetco), Cameron, Schlumberger, National Oilwell Varco and Weatherford.

For the financial year ending March 2013, the combined group recorded revenues of around £44 million represented an almost three-fold increase in business since 2010.

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