AFOS, which operates in the development, supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance of high quality stainless steel equipment for the food and medical sectors, has secured a £250,000 investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).
The firm, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and has a turnover of around £3million, was subject to a management buy-out towards the end of 2017, with chairman Mike Sutton selling a majority stake in the business to four members of the management team, who became co-directors.
The investment will allow the firm to grow its global market share in both the food and medical sectors, and to widen the range of services it can offer.
Mike Sutton, chairman at AFOS, says: “AFOS has an excellent reputation in a range of niche markets, and a long-standing track record which demonstrates how we live up to it for customers around the world.
“Our focus is on continuing to grow our profitability through maximising the use of our state of the art process technologies and taking advantage of opportunities to build new partnerships and product offerings both at home and overseas.
“The commercially-minded FW Capital investment team quickly understood the business and our future ambitions for it, and were extremely supportive right through the investment application process.”
AFOS began as a manufacturer of traditional fish smoking kilns, and still provides a range of such equipment today, although they are now equipped with state-of-the-art Siemens microprocessor controls.
Its food sector product range, which is recognised as providing the industry standard by the British Retail Consortium, has expanded to include defrosters, deglazers, dryers and brining lines.
They are used across the UK and mainland Europe and as far afield as New Zealand, where discussions are currently ongoing with a major food sector firm on opportunities to enter the Chinese market together.