Sentio Partners, with a team led by partner Andrew Songurst, has provided financial due diligence services to Business Growth Fund (BGF) on its £4m growth capital investment in Huddersfield-based VTL, one of the UK’s largest manufacturer of precision-engineered components for the automotive industry.

Formed in 2001, VTL has developed from a single product, single site European focused business, to a global operation, manufacturing multiple products and employing over 400 people generating annual revenues in excess of £50m. VTL supplies components to major automotive manufacturers including Cummins, Toyota, Renault and Nissan and also provides a variety of additional services including product R&D and prototyping.

BGF’s investment will enable VTL to grow the business organically by developing new customers in the automotive sector and increasing the range of components it manufactures for existing customers. The current funding package and access to further growth capital will also provide the financial means to pursue other acquisitions and investments in the future.

VTL has four manufacturing facilities and an R&D centre in Huddersfield and, in addition, has a manufacturing facility in Charleston, USA, a manufacturing facility in Dharwad, India and a sales and technical presence in Yokohama, Japan. VTL serves customers across Europe, North America, India and Asia.

Richard Taylor, BGF, said: “BGF has invested in a number of exciting manufacturing businesses to date and it is fantastic to be able to welcome VTL into this group. Employing over 300 skilled staff in the UK alone, VTL is a prime example of a Yorkshire manufacturing firm with its heart in the UK and operations across the globe.

“VTL is managed by a high calibre team that has created a business of scale and carved out a leading position in its niche markets. There is significant scope for growth both organically and with the opportunity to acquire complementary businesses which management have demonstrated that they can integrate quickly and efficiently”

Bruno Jouan, CEO of VTL, said: “Engineering firms such as VTL have the power to drive the UK economy for many years to come provided that we continue to invest appropriately in R&D, new products and highly skilled people. This is precisely what we have been doing at VTL for the past twelve years and with help from BGF, will continue to do but at an accelerated rate. From the outset, BGF demonstrated an interest in our business above and beyond that of a typical investor and having spent time talking to them over the past few months, we feel confident that they are the right fit for us. We see a number of exciting ways to grow the business organically and acquisitively both here in the UK and overseas. Our partnership with BGF and continued support from HSBC will enable us take advantage of the significant growth opportunities in the automotive component manufacturing and development markets.”

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