OSL snaps up fellow competitor Universal

Sheffield-based cutting tool group OSL Cutting Technologies has acquired a UK competitor for an undisclosed sum.

OSL has snapped up Universal Drilling and Cutting Equipment, creating what bosses say will be the biggest high-speed steel cutting tool manufacturer in the UK.

OSL was founded in 2015 and forms part of the wider OSL Group whose executive chairman is Mathew Grey’s father, David.

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It makes industrial hole cutting tools and includes a family of brands with a history dating back to the 1800’s. They include Rotabroach, GJ Halls, Powerbor and Taylor & Jones. More than 60 per cent of business is export.

Mathew Grey, group managing director said: “Universal has a fantastic reputation, nationally and internationally, and will allow us to grow our presence into a variety of markets.

“We firmly believe that Sheffield is extremely well placed to compete globally as a manufacturing city. We have a logistical advantage over Asia and North America when servicing the European market.

“Our history as a manufacturing city and specifically within cutting tools gives us access to a market skill set and a reputation that is difficult to beat.

“More recently the city is supporting investment into a digital landscape that will help us compete in an increasingly digitally oriented industry”.

The deal had support from the Barclays Northern Powerhouse Fund. The £500m Northern Powerhouse Growth Fund was established to inject investment into businesses across the north of England and is intended for SMEs across the Northern Powerhouse region.

The OSL Group employs more than 200 people and turnover is expected to exceed £30million for 2019.