Aerospace firm Umeco has completed a £145.8 million sales of its supply chain business Pattonair as part of a raft of changes.
Leamington based Umeco (UMC) also announced its chief executive and finance director had resigned as part of a shake-up following the sale to private equity firm Exponent Private Equity.
The company said Clive Snowdon and Finance Director Douglas Robertson stepped down after their involvement in a proposed management buyout of Pattonair.
Umeco, which also makes composite materials for Formula One racing cars, named chief operating officer Andrew Moss as its new chief executive and Financial Controller Steven Bowers as its finance chief.
The sale will generate net proceeds of about £109.3 million, before transaction costs, for Umeco, which said it would use the funds to pay down debt.
The company said the disposal would allow it to focus on its composites business, which has higher margins and a broader customer base.
Mr Moss, who was formerly chief operating officer at Umeco, said: “The proceeds from the disposal will be used to strengthen our balance sheet which will enable us to build further scale, both organically and through potential acquisition. We relish the opportunity to bring additional focus and resources to bear to enhance what we believe are attractive market positions in advanced composites with a view to generating additional shareholder value over time.”
In February, Umeco said it was in discussions to sell Pattonair, which counts Rolls Royce , BAE Systems and the US Department of Defense among its customers.
The operation brought in £235 million worth of revenue in the 2010 financial year – representing far more than half of Umeco’s £409 million annual sales.
Mr Bowers was formerly group financial controller at the firm. His and Mr Moss’s appointments begin with immediate effect.
Neil Johnson, chairman of Umeco, said: “This is a turning point in Umeco’s long history as a specialist engineering group. The Board has concluded that it is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders to focus the Umeco Group’s resources on its composites business, which it considers has attractive long-term growth prospects in its core markets of aerospace and defence, wind energy, automotive and marine.
“The board would like to thank Clive and Doug for the valuable contribution that they have made to the Umeco Group and we wish them well for the future. The Board would also like to thank the management and employees of Pattonair. We
look forward to this new chapter with confidence.”