Rhodes acquires engineer friend

MAJOR Yorkshire machine manufacturer Group Rhodes has completed its latest deal with a takeover of precision engineer Slater and Crabtree.

The history of the two firms, both based in Wakefield, has been linked since Rhodes took a minority share in the smaller organisation in the 1930s. Slater and Crabtree has also made tooling for Rhodes presses.

Rhodes, which makes machines for a range of sectors including waste, automotive, and oil and gas, said it had made the acquisition to strengthen its production base and to help protect the engineering skill base in Wakefield. It wants to develop the firm and make it more efficient.

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Slater and Crabtree currently turns over £2m and has 25 staff. It makes precision engineered components for a blue chip customer base including engineer David Brown and manufacturer Camerons.

Rhodes, set up in 1824, made 15 acquisitions between 1985 and 2009 and has worked with industrial giants Corus, BAE and Rolls Royce for many years.

Today it turns over £20m and is one of Europe’s largest original equipment manufacturers in its field.

It exports to 30 countries including India, Japan, Egypt and the US and last year it won a Queen’s Award for its work developing aerospace metalforming technologies.

Rhodes is looking to increase its exports to Asia and, in particular, the Indian market.