September 2, 2020 @ 14:02 by Steven Hugill
A County Durham engineering company is planning fresh growth after securing an agreement bosses say will catalyse “exciting plans” for its future.
Mill Masters International has completed a buyout deal from US parent Mill Masters Inc.
The operator, based in Newton Aycliffe, was supported by accountancy and business advisory company MHA Tait Walker and The Endeavour Partnership.
It also received backing from NatWest.
Michael Smith, of MHA Tait Walker – which has offices across the North East – and Nigel Williams, of Teesside-based The Endeavour Partnership, led teams that guided Mills Masters International management duo Chris Harford and Peter Chappell through the buyout process.
NatWest provided facilities that enabled the buyout to proceed.
Mill Masters is known for designing, making, commissioning and supplying heat exchanger assembly machines and associated equipment to the automotive and heating, ventilation and air conditioning industries.
Reflecting on the buyout, Chris and Peter, who between them have more than 50 years’ experience in the automotive heat exchanger sector, said they are relishing the opportunity to further develop Mill Masters International as an independent business.
“We will continue to work with our US colleagues,” said Chris.
“In fact, we have several major projects ongoing at the moment, but we also have some exciting plans in terms of where we want to take things ourselves in the coming years.”
Peter added: “We learned a lot during the buyout process; Michael and Nigel were excellent, and their experience and technical ability was invaluable to us in getting the deal done.
“The team at NatWest helped put the funding package together and were always on hand throughout to make sure the deal happened.
“Chris and I are extremely grateful to Bill Panthofer for giving us this opportunity to develop and grow the business and we wish him and the team at Mill Masters Inc every success in the future.”
MHA Tait Walker’s Michael [pictured] said he was thrilled to have played a role in creating the business’ new chapter.
He said: “Mill Masters International is a fantastic local manufacturing business and Chris and Peter head up a committed, ambitious, and talented team.
“We wish them well for the future.”
David Robinson, NatWest relationship director, added: “We are delighted to support the management team in bringing this local business back into UK ownership.
“Mill Masters is a seasoned exporter and we wish Chris and Peter continued success.”