MHA Moore and Smalley facilitates manufacturer’s management buyout

A Manchester-based manufacturing and engineering firm specialising in the aerospace and defence sectors has been purchased by three of its management team.

Atec Engineering Solutions employs around 43 staff at its site in Worsley designing, manufacturing, and maintaining complex control and monitoring equipment for defence land, sea, and air sectors as well as the industrial oil and gas and nuclear markets.

The management buyout has been completed without any external debt or equity funding and will allow the firm to pursue its plan to expand its capabilities within existing and new customers as well as exploring new market sectors.

Our corporate finance team helped to facilitate the management buyout. Corporate finance director Stephen Gregson led the advisory team along with Michelle Taylor and Tony Medcalf providing taxation advice.

Stephen Gregson, MHA Moore and Smalley, said:

“This deal is a testament to the excellent business Andrea has helped to build over recent years and with the new management team, Atec is well positioned for its next stage of growth.

“Both parties have been hugely helpful and open throughout the whole MBO process and we are pleased to have helped structure an excellent deal for both parties.”

Chris Ross and Nina Latham from Mills and Reeve acted as legal advisors to Atec’s management team and Katie Parker at Addleshaw Goddard advised Andrea Hough.

John Bowden will become Atec’s new managing director and will be supported by Mark Poole, operations manager and Steve Atherton, finance manager as the other two managers involved in the management buyout.

Current owner and managing director Andrea Hough will remain as chairman and will assist the team in forming its business strategy and guiding it forward in line with its sales targets as well as retaining a minority stake in the firm.

Andrea Hough said:

“This exciting announcement will allow Atec to grasp the huge opportunities in developing industries such as nuclear power.

“Atec has been a huge part of my life since joining the company as an apprentice when I left school but in John and the rest of the management team, the company has a fantastic new management team who are well placed drive it forward.”

Atec has a long history in engineering under several different brands and was purchased by Andrea and her business partner Terry Madden in 2004 following a company restructure. Andrea then became sole shareholder in 2016. John Bowden said:

“Having the opportunity to lead a business with the heritage of Atec is an honour and I look forward to the journey ahead with the support of a great team. This is an exciting time for Atec and I am sure we will achieve the success that the business deserves.”

Our 2021 Manufacturing and Engineering Survey is now open!

It’s a challenging time for the manufacturing sector and the wider world as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily and working lives. Last year, we undertook a national sector health check survey asking manufacturing firms across the UK how they have managed through the crisis.

We are running a second Manufacturing & Engineering temperature check to help us compile the latest nationwide picture of the state of the sector. Your feedback will help our specialist advisers gauge where the sector is and what can be done to respond to current challenges.  

This mini survey focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and how firms are responding to industry changes.    

The survey should take no longer than 1 minute. It will be used to compile benchmark data, which will help us better understand how the sector is responding to current challenges.  

If you have any queries about the survey or would like to know more about the services MHA Moore and Smalley provide, please contact Ginni Cooper, Partner and Head of Manufacturing and Engineering.

The Engine Issue 8

Read the detailed review from our recent national manufacturing temperature check

The COVID pandemic has undoubtedly had a significant impact on our lives and on business changing the “normal” to “new normal” and six months after the first nationwide lockdown across the UK, MHA surveyed its manufacturing clients and contacts across the country to assess the impact this was having.

We posed six questions which we intend to return to on a quarterly basis to see how the answers might change and in this edition we provide a summary of our findings and measure the overall mood of the industry during this difficult period.

The next article we focus on is the manufacturing outlook from the view of the North West and West Midlands regions of the UK. Showing a spotlight on what regional industries are trading well and recovering quicker, also highlighting where government support is needed the most to help manufacturers return to pre-COVID levels of trading.

No insight would be complete without talking about the other hot topic of the moment – Brexit. With negotiations between the UK and EU no closer to agreement the scales are tilting ever more to the UK leaving the EU with no deal in place.

Head of Sector at MHA UK, Chris Barlow comments on what the industry views are towards a no deal Brexit and what he recommends manufacturers need to put in place now to protect supply chains, operations and international trade.

Contact us

To discuss any of the matters raised in this edition please get in touch with Ginni Cooper, Partner or alternatively contact us here.

This update originally appeared on the MHA-UK website.


Welcome to the seventh issue of The Engine from MHA’s specialist Manufacturing sector team

Whatever adjective you might use to describe the current time, and there are many, it is unlikely to be a period that we will forget in a hurry.

The Government has provided unprecedented levels of support to businesses and encouraged manufacturers to remain open. They have asked the sector to consider if they can help to “answer the call to action” and play a “direct role in combating Covid-19”. Many manufacturers have risen to the challenge and our first article highlights a few examples of these.

Our second article focuses on the value of finding a way to visually engage staff toward a unified goal. The Government has managed to get us to understand “the Curve” and the need for this to be flattened as part of the fight against Covid-19. We highlight a way that this can be used to focus on cash – so important at this time.

One of the ways that the Government has offered help is via CBILS (Government backed loans) but businesses need to be properly prepared ahead of any lending application. We have summarised a few helpful tips.

Finally, we highlight the quandary that businesses face in choosing between two different types of state aid; CBILS and R&D tax reclaims.

To download a copy of the newsletter please click here. If you would like any further information on the topics featured in this newsletter please contact Ginni Cooper.

MHA Manufacturing and Engineering Report 2019/20 – Video Part 2

Investment is key for growth in the sector.

As in previous years, answers to the various sections of the survey brought about some recurring themes and also a couple of surprises e.g. Business confidence.

When asked specifically about revenue growth– results are optimistic and at a similar level to last year – 70% of respondents anticipating growth over the next 12 months (71% last year). 64% of respondents are planning to invest in R&D – It is encouraging that 89% of respondents invested in R&D in the last year but frustrating that only 48% of those who invested successfully applied for R&D tax credits.

Click here to read the full report.

MHA Manufacturing and Engineering Report 2019/20 – Video Part 1

Compare your business against national findings.

The survey is a national one and this is the 8th year we have run it. We had in excess of 230 responses this year, from businesses of varying sizes and maturity.

A key change this year in the way we have utilised and presented the survey findings has been to engage with our Data Insights Team. In addition to collecting the responses to the survey, we have also carried out a benchmarking exercise with publicly available data on over 1,000 companies within the same geographical and financial parameters so that we can compare and contrast findings.

Click here to watch Part 2 – Investment is key for growth in the sector.

Click here to read the full report.

Manufacturing and Engineering Report 2019/20

Manufacturing & Engineering Annual Survey Report: UK SME manufacturers continue to grow and build resilience

Our MHA Manufacturing & Engineering Survey Report, now in its seventh year, is a go-to report when it comes to understanding the sector, its opportunities and challenges.

We benchmark SMEs across the UK to paint a national picture of the Manufacturing and Engineering sector. To broaden the content of this report and make it more useful as a benchmarking exercise we have changed our methodology this year. In addition to collecting responses to a client survey, we compare this to in-depth quantitative analysis which has been done in conjunction with our Data Insights team.

This years’ report reveals that while global economic conditions, Brexit/future trading tariffs and staff shortages impacted growth, SMEs remain buoyant and they’re building resilience by increasing their assets, reducing borrowing and re-evaluating supply chains.