LONDON – March 10, 2015 – SEA Equity announces the acquisition of Vacuum Furnace Engineering Limited (“VFE”), the UK’s leading specialist in the service, overhaul, design and supply of vacuum furnaces.
Founded in 1985, VFE supports a wide range of companies in the aerospace, power generation, medical and contract heat treatment industries. From its base in the West Midlands, VFE has 50 employees generating over £10 million of revenues annually.
The existing management team, consisting of original partners Keith Masters and Keith Potter and Operations Director Simon Lees, will be strengthened by Charlie White who has joined the business as Managing Director. Charlie White, previously CEO of pump specialist PIMS Group, brings a wealth of experience to help drive VFE’s industry leading service provision. The management team will be supported by Roy Kishor as Chairman, an experienced business leader with extensive knowledge of VFE’s customer base and end markets. SEA Equity is excited to support the company’s growth strategy, focused on widening the range of services provided to existing customers and increasing its penetration in overseas markets.
“We are very pleased to announce our investment in VFE, a best in class business supported by an excellent management team,” commented Elliott Nicholson, Partner at SEA Equity. “We believe that with the resources SEA Equity brings, coupled with the strength of the management team, VFE will build on its position as a leading supplier of vacuum furnace equipment and maintenance services.”
Charlie White added, “VFE is a stand-out performer in the vacuum furnace market. I am delighted to join the management team and see significant opportunities to further support our customers in the UK and abroad.”
“Our partnership with SEA Equity is a significant step in the development of the company”, commented Keith Masters, Sales Director at VFE. “We have maintained our competitive advantage over the years and look forward to maximizing the growth opportunities that the market will present going forward. This is an exciting time for our business, staff and customers.”
A debt package funded by Santander will support VFE’s continuing organic growth strategy as well as provide funding for acquisitive growth opportunities.
SEA Equity was advised by BDO (financial and tax due diligence), Armstrong Transaction Services (commercial due diligence) and Matthew Arnold & Baldwin (legal).
Jasper Corporate Finance and Pinsent Masons advised VFE, and Shoosmiths advised incoming management.
VFE is the leading specialist in the service, overhaul, design and supply of vacuum furnaces, with 50 employees at its base in the West Midlands. VFE offers novel engineered solutions covering all makes of equipment and all aspects of vacuum furnace technology including vacuum heat treatment, vacuum brazing, vacuum melting & casting, diffusion bonding, vacuum sintering, as well as many other processes. www.vfe.co.uk