United Tooling Solutions snaps up 3 businesses in £10 million acquisition spree

Troy-owned United Tooling Solutions (UTS) has acquired a trio of businesses across the UK.

The acquisitions of Barnes JB Ltd in Lancashire, ABT Machine Tools & Tooling Ltd in Glasgow and Kalem Ltd in the West Midlands will increase UTS’ footprint by 50% as it grows from six to nine trading locations.

UTS is an industrial supplies and consumables distributor with inventory management, as well as bespoke design and manufacture services for special tooling. It has locations at Bedford, Bristol, Bridgend, Derby, Devon and Dorset, as well as a comprehensive online operation.

UTS secured a £10 million funding facility from Shawbrook Bank to back the expansion of its distribution network. The funding facility – a tailored Asset-Based Lending package incorporating confidential invoice discounting, inventory and property facilities – was agreed in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic with the country on lockdown.

“Supporting our subsidiaries is a critical part in the overall growth plan of Troy Group,” said Trouy (UK) Ltd CEO Paul Kilbride. “This project will see a number of complementary businesses being vertically integrated into the wider group, adding to the success and size of the UTS’ business as well as providing the overall Group with outstanding opportunity for further growth.

“We are excited by these acquisitions and believe they offer great value and further growth opportunity which fits in with the overall Troy Group business plan.”

Dave Jackson, Managing Director at UTS, said: “Although a relatively young organisation, we have a solid footprint already in the UK but are ambitious for this business and are looking to expand through acquisition across the country.

“After identifying a number of strategic sites, our key goal was to find a funder that would not only be capable and willing to finance three simultaneous acquisitions, but also provide us with confidence that they’d have appetite to support our business and growth plans in the future.

“Shawbrook quickly became that funder. They bought into our plans immediately, could see the potential of the business and the areas we were targeting and supported us completely from the off.

“The funding facility they put together, together with the guidance and support they’ve so far given us, demonstrates to us that Shawbrook are the right funder to get UTS to where we want it to be – starting with these three acquisitions, which will grow our national footprint by 50%.”

Steve Armstrong, Relationship Director at Shawbrook, said: “We take great pleasure in being able to support ambitious businesses with great potential and strong leadership – and UTS is another great example.

“The ABL facility we’ve put in place will allow UTS to complete simultaneous acquisitions in three strategic areas. These acquisitions will help to grow the Group by 50% and provide it with an extended footprint across the UK.

“What was also pleasing about this deal was that it was delivered successfully in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic while the country was still in lockdown. For us, this not only demonstrates the strength of the UTS management team and their strategy, but is also a great example of how we’re not just open for business but determined to get the finance in place when it matters most – in spite of the current logistical challenges and uncertainties. This is a critical next step in the development of the UTS business and we are excited to be supporting them on their journey.”

Breeze Corporate Finance led the fund raising, with UTS being advised by Paul Bevan and Nigel Winkett.