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Holroyd gets Chinese owner in £20m deal
Published:  18 March, 2010

Some of the UK’s best-known mechanical engineering names – including Holroyd, Binns & Berry, and Crawford Swift – are being bought by a Chinese company from Leicester-based Precision Technologies Group (PTG) in a cash deal worth £20m.

The Chongqing Machinery and Electric (CQME) industrial group is buying four UK-based PTG subsidiaries – Holroyd Precision, Precision Components, PTG Heavy Industries (which includes Binns & Berry and Crawford Swift) and PTG Advanced Developments – as well as PTG Deutschland in Germany. Another PTG subsidiary, Jones & Shipman Precision, is not affected by the deal.

If the deal goes ahead – it first has to be approved by the Chinese Government – CQME plans to keep the UK operations running. About 180 employees will transfer from PTG to CQME.

Holroyd can trace its history back to 1860, when it was founded by John Holroyd to produce machine tools, knitting machines and other machinery. In 1964, it was bought by Renold, which sold the business on to PTG in 2006. Holroyd now specialises in machines for producing gears, rotors, threads and precision components. It has won three Queens’ awards.

Precision Components – located, like Holroyd, in Milnrow, Lancashire – specialises in manufacturing screw compressor rotors. PTG Advanced Developments is a corporate strategy and project development consultancy, while Huddersfield-based PTG Heavy Industries makes and refurbishes Binns & Berry and Crawford Swift lathes, grinding machines, boring machines and friction welding machines.

CQME was privatised from Chinese state ownership in 2008 and is now listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Its portfolio includes machine tools, power equipment, pumps and parts for commercial vehicles.

CQME’s chairman Xie Huajun says that PTG acquisitions will raise the company’s skill levels and its profile in the machinery industry. It is part of a strategy to establish a strong foothold in international markets.

The Chinese company says it will continue to invest in the acquired businesses and develop their technologies, intellectual property and know-how to create products that meet the market`s increasingly demanding requirements. The existing manufacturing facilities, services and supply chains in the UK will be maintained and all staff will be transferred to the new group.

CQME believes that the deal will create a combined company with the strength and advantages necessary to compete with machine tool and component manufacturers worldwide.

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