'˜We're focusing on Brexports, not Brexit'

One of Europe's largest specialist tooling reclamation and precision engineering companies has been acquired in a deal that should help it win a bigger share of export markets.

The Leeds-based entrepreneur Martin Allison

NTR, which designs, refurbishes and manufactures, tooling equipment for the oil and gas, automotive and heavy engineering sectors, has secured backing that should help it grow during a period of economic upheaval.

A group of Yorkshire-based entrepreneurs has backed the company’s newly appointed managing director, Chris Weeds.

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The deal sees Martin Allison, the former managing director of Sellers Global Engineers in Huddersfield and an ex-banker, lead a board of new investors working alongside Craig Naylor, who remains as the company’s director.

It is understood that Mr Allison is looking to establish a buy and build strategy for the business, with a focus on overseas markets.

Mr Allison told The Yorkshire Post: “I’m more interested in Brexport than Brexit.”

Today, the company has 21 staff and a turnover of around £750,000 to £1m. A spokesman said the company would benefit from Mr Naylor’s knowledge of the industry and the organisation, “gained through his family history and links to the original founder”.

Mr Naylor, who is the grandson of NTR’s founder, has presided over a successful period for the firm, which was founded in the 1970s and is based at the Thorp Arch Industrial Estate, near Wetherby. The company will continues to trade as NTR Limited, and it already has customers in 10 countries, including Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Singapore and South Africa.

Andrew Thompson and Howard Smith of KPMG based in Leeds, acted as advisers to Craig Naylor, who was also advised by Alison Morfitt and Matthew Rippon of Particular Legal solicitors.

Mr Naylor said: “NTR is a well respected local business with a loyal workforce and an unrivalled reputation for producing high quality tooling that is used by engineering firms throughout the world.”

Mr Weeds, the new managing director, said: “We are delighted to have concluded this investment which preserves the future of tool reclamation at this long-standing Wetherby business, and enables an exciting future for the business.”

Leeds-based Mr Allison, who is now the executive chairman of NTR Limited, said: “This deal secured further investment into the business, which is great news for both NTR’s employees and agents and the company’s very loyal client base.

“NTR has been at the forefront of the tooling reclamation industry for almost 40 years, and this deal means the company can look forward to an exciting future.

“As a UK exporting manufacturer NTR, like its peers, is vital to the future of the British economy, which is why we are investing in it, and in Wetherby.”

Mr Allison said the deal had secured the future of all the 21 staff employed by the firm.

Advisers for the new investors included Graeme Allison of Rosedale Advisory, and Kaira Clareheugh of Clarion Solicitors, based in Leeds.