United Tooling Solutions continues rapid expansion with acquisition of three tools wholesaler businesses

April 2022

Man Sparks Grinder
Client United Tooling Solutions Ltd
Sector Wholesale
Facility Asset Based Lending
Funding Need Acquisition & Growth
Value Undisclosed
Team Corporate Lending
Region South West & North East
  • United Tooling Solutions acquires Newcastle under Lyme’s Mettex Fasteners Ltd, Weston-super-Mare’s Nuts & Bolts Ltd, and Fastfix Bristol Ltd to take annual revenues to £85 million
  • Industrial tool wholesaler extends national reach and presence in the South West and Midlands with new acquisitions
  • Shawbrook Bank backs the business with an asset-based lending facility and an additional asset finance line; with further funding coming from Beechbrook Capital

United Tooling Solutions Ltd (UTS), has acquired Newcastle under Lyme’s Mettex Fasteners Ltd, Weston-super-Mare’s Nuts & Bolts Ltd and Fastfix Bristol Ltd with the support of existing funder Shawbrook Bank. The businesses each supply and distribute fixings alongside power and auxiliary tools to manufacturers.

The acquisitions will see Exeter-based UTS expand its annual revenue to £85 million and increase its network of industrial tool suppliers to 120 branches UK-wide, while enhancing the company’s online offering to customers.

The firm turned to Shawbrook and Beechbrook, securing term debt and increased asset-based lending facilities to support the acquisition drive. Shawbrook also backed the firm with an asset finance line to help buy new vending machine units to distribute to customers.

The latest acquisitions follow the business acquiring Barnes JB Ltd, ABT Machine Tools & Tooling Ltd, and Howard Lee & Sons Ltd during 2020; and Drake Tooling & Abrasives Ltd, Kelvin Power Tools Ltd, Graham’s Machinery Sales Ltd and MOL Tools & Abrasives Ltd in 2021 .

UTS will retain all employees at the acquired companies and each business will retain their independent identities.


United Tooling Solutions Logo

The South West and Midlands are strategically important regions for us - home to important manufacturing and engineering conurbations. But ultimately, these new acquisitions help to enhance our position as an industrial tool provider with a truly national reach to support customers UK wide.

— Chris Taylor, Finance Director at UTS

Chris Taylor, Finance Director at UTS added:

“Each business is a natural fit for our group, providing complementary expertise, product portfolios and markets. Carrying out three acquisitions and major inventory investments simultaneously is a highly complex process, but the teams at Shawbrook Bank and Beechbrook Capital were quick to support us with a creative solution that delivered the tailored finance we required.”

The business, which was established in 2018, is now targeting further growth by expanding its £6 million revenue vending machine service for customers. UTS supplies manufacturers and engineering workshops with vending machines that allow staff to readily access consumables like fixings and abrasives on-site.

Steve Armstrong, Director in the Corporate Lending team at Shawbrook Bank, said:

“UTS has grown at a remarkable pace since its inception in 2018. Its success is testament to the management team’s proven ability to seamlessly integrate new acquisitions into the business, while finding new market opportunities like its vending machine operation. Growing to £85 million in revenue is a huge milestone, and we’ll be supporting UTS as it looks ahead to the future.”

UTS is a trading subsidiary of national buying group Troy (UK) Limited, a £270 million revenue industrial buying group with 300 members operating more than 400 trade outlets.

UTS were advised by Breeze Corporate Finance and Gateleys, with Gunnercooke and Freeths acting for Shawbrook and Beechbrook respectively.

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