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Business & Economy

Sunderland’s SE-TEK Limited eyes growth after Komatsu Mining buyout

Manufacturing company bosses have unveiled a blueprint for job creation after completing a management buyout.

Officials behind SE-TEK Limited say they are “confident” of growing their “highly-skilled and dedicated workforce” after acquiring Komatsu Mining’s UK conveyor making operation.

The deal will see SE-TEK operate from Komatsu’s former 200,000 sq ft plant in Sunderland, with an existing workforce of around 100.

The business makes and supplies conveyor components and spare parts to original equipment manufacturers in the aggregates, mining, tunnelling and construction sectors.

Supported by a significant seven-figure funding package and working capital facilities from Close Brothers Invoice Finance, the buyout was triggered by Komatsu’s decision to exit the conveying segment and divest its UK conveying business.

The business will be led by chief executive Giles Richell, along with a senior management team of four others, three of whom are established employees of Komatsu and have been running the Komatsu Sunderland manufacturing site.

Russ Richardson becomes operations director; Martin Townsend is the business’ finance director, and Neil Fairley becomes supply and quality director.

Completing the senior management team is Chris Stavers, who will join SE-TEK from Chirton Engineering as sales director.

Advising the management team on buyout was Newcastle-based RG Corporate Finance, led by partner and head of corporate finance Carl Swansbury, corporate finance senior manager Alex Simpson and corporate finance executive Tom Cosby.

Tax advice was provided by RG Business tax partner and head of business tax Simon Whiteside, director of taxation services Simon Hopwood and business tax assistant Harry Lamb.

Legal advice was provided by Square One Law, led by head of corporate Mark Lazenby and corporate partner John Hammill.

Funding was provided by Rob Hatfield, of Close Brothers Invoice Finance.

Providing external legal advice to Komatsu was Minter Ellison.

Giles said: “The conveyor operation is well-established and has an international reputation, which provides SE-TEK with a platform to grow our already strong client base in new and existing markets.

“In addition to maintaining continuity of quality and supply to customers, we are particularly pleased to be able to retain this operation in the North East, utilising a highly-skilled and dedicated workforce, which we are confident we can grow as we secure additional projects.”

Carl added: “This manufacturing operation has been a key part of the North East’s industrial landscape for many years and, as a result of this buyout, will secure its presence in the region and provide a springboard for future growth.”