Crowe advises German-based global group on further UK expansion

Busch UK Ltd

The corporate finance team at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe has helped a Telford-based firm take a major strategic step forward with the acquisition of a Halesowen engineering business.

Busch (UK) Ltd, part of the global Busch Vacuum Solutions group, has purchased Vacuum Furnace Engineering Ltd (VFE), which provides maintenance servicing for heat treatment industry equipment, for an undisclosed sum.

Busch Vacuum Solutions provides vacuum and overpressure technology worldwide, and the UK subsidiary was established in 1971 as the first overseas subsidiary within the Busch Group. As well as a UK headquarters in Telford, Busch (UK) Ltd also has a further service centre based in East Kilbride.

The family business was established in Germany in 1963 and now has 3,500 employees and operates in 44 countries served by six production sites globally.

Vacuum Furnace Engineering Ltd was founded in 1985 and now has divisions in Halesowen and Poole in the UK and  Singapore. It had a turnover of £16 million in 2019, employing 89 staff.

Andy Kay, corporate finance partner at Crowe, said: “This acquisition is strategically important for Busch in the UK, as it enhances the company’s service offering across the UK and internationally.

“For Vacuum Furnace Engineering, it opens doors to a much bigger marketplace and they will now be able to tap into Busch’s global customer footprint.

“This deal is the result of forward-thinking with an eye to the long term strategy of both companies and we were delighted to be able to advise Busch on this important acquisition.”

Tim Hulbert, managing director of Busch (UK) Ltd, said: “This is an exciting time for the Busch UK team. 2021 is our 50th anniversary in the UK and the acquisition of VFE marks a significant commitment by the Busch group to the UK market, ensuring we are well positioned for further long term service and growth.

“We are stronger together and uniquely positioned to help UK manufacturers become more productive and sustainable through the application of our Busch vacuum solutions.”

David Byrne, VFE chief executive officer, said: “Operationally, VFE will remain focused on the markets and customers that benefit from the team’s expertise in vacuum metallurgy and composites. The existing Busch UK business will continue to serve customers under the Busch brand.

“Together, Busch and VFE will share their vacuum expertise, solutions, and service capabilities, to enable an even more comprehensive range of vacuum solutions to the benefit of all of our customers.”

Hilary D’Cruz and Neil Jones of Staffordshire law firm Ansons acted for Busch UK, with Arrowpoint Advisory LLP in London and law firm Squires in Leeds advising Vacuum Furnace Engineering.