Specialist finance meets specialist engineering

Midlands-based engineering group QML Holdings Limited acquires Hockley Pattern & Tool Limited and QFS Technologies Limited with £6.2m funding from Shawbrook.

16 August 2018

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Taking a design from the drawing board to prototype and finally to production is a long and complex process, particularly within the automotive and aerospace sectors. Within the UK this complexity is compounded by a shortage of specialist engineers, which the larger Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) rely upon.

The founders of QML Holdings Limited identified an opportunity to create a single specialist engineering supplier that would offer larger OEMs bespoke prototyping, the tooling required for production (whether mass or low volume) and the jigs and assemblies to service them. 

We could see that many of our clients were looking for a single supplier that could provide prototyping, the tooling required for production and the jigs and assemblies to service them.  Initially we were in dialogue with the owners of QFS but when the additional opportunity arose to acquire Hockley we were able to act very quickly as it was a perfect fit with our strategy.  The response from Shawbrook was exceptionally fast and simply wouldn’t have happened without the team’s understanding of our business or the industry.

— Carl Roberts, Director at QML Holdings Limited

After initially identifying QFS Technologies Limited as a potential acquisition target, the Directors approached a number of potential funders, family trusts and other debt providers before Shawbrook was recommended to them. By first investing time with the Directors and the existing owners at QFS, including site visits by the regional team and a credit partner, it was clear that the strategy was robust and a facility was quickly proposed. 

When the second opportunity to acquire Hockley Pattern arose it was then relatively straightforward to extend the proposed financing to enable the buy-out of both businesses, with funding secured against assets and cash flow. To ensure a successful integration and to support further growth, the facility provides further headroom as the enlarged business continues to evolve.

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