Acquisition of Coventry manufacturer creates new force in the UK’s laser cutting and fabrication industry

Coventry-based HTA Group Limited, one of the UK’s largest subcontract manufacturers, has been acquired by Lancashire-based WEC Group in an undisclosed deal which creates a business with 800 employees and a projected £75 million turnover.

Established in 1973, HTA Group is a leading supplier of laser cut parts, sheet metal components and fabricated assemblies.  Operating from an advanced manufacturing facility in Coventry, it has a 130-strong workforce and a £10 million annual turnover.

The new multi-million pound partnership created through the sale of the business will enable HTA Group to continue its expansion delivering market leading levels of customer service and engineering capability, while also enabling WEC Group to build on its growth within the UK’s laser cutting and fabrication sector.

HTA Group managing director, Adam Thomas, will work within the expanded business on a consultancy basis, while his brother Philip Thomas also remains a key member of the HTA Group team.

Adam Thomas said: “There are great synergies between HTA Group and WEC Group and this deal makes both businesses much stronger entities. It really enhances our capabilities and capacity and that is a major advantage to all our customers.”

WEC Group has a 35-year track record in investment and job creation. The company, formed in 1979, has an extensive customer list across a wide range of industries including rail, automotive, nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aerospace.

Wayne Wild, commercial director of the family-owned WEC Group, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for HTA Group, its workforce and its present and future customers.  HTA Group’s partnership with WEC Group will create a major new force in the UK’s laser cutting and fabrication sector and allows both companies to offer more to our customers.

“Continuous investment in new technology and in our workforce has been the hallmark of the WEC Group’s success and we’re delighted to welcome HTA into our growing family. It’s a really great fit for our business.  The expanded group makes us one of the largest laser cutting and fabrication operations in the UK. It means we can offer more services and skills to our customers.”

The sale has been completed with the support of Birmingham-based accountants and business advisers Friend Partnership Limited, which has worked with HTA Group for the past three years.

Friend Partnership Limited, said: “HTA Group has become well-established as a customer-focused business which prioritises investment in innovation and ongoing improvement.  For several years now, Friend has worked closely with Adam Thomas to help shape the strategic future of HTA Group, and we are thrilled to have played a key part in a landmark deal for the business.”

Along with Friend Partnership Limited, Higgs & Sons’ Birmingham office acted for HTA Group.