Stoke’s Hallmark Sheet Metal Ltd, a leading manufacturer of hi-spec sheet metal products, has completed a successful management buy-out (MBO) following a combined £2 million funding from Santander Business Banking and UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE).

Formed originally in 1996, the management team at Hallmark Sheet Metal has more than 78 years of combined engineering experience. The company has grown by focusing on the manufacture of low volume, complex sheet metal components via processes such as laser cutting, robotic bending and welding. Its technical offering and reputation for service delivery has enabled the business to embed itself with a number of Original Equipment Manufacturers within a broad range of sectors including cable management, military, electronics and consumer goods.

Of a total £3m funding package. £1.5m was provided by Santander Business Banking and £500k by UKSE.

The £500k equity investment from UKSE contains a mixture of shares and loans, assisting with the acquisition of Hallmark Sheet Metal by management. UK Steel Enterprise, a subsidiary of Tata Steel, provides equity and loan finance up to £1 million to growing companies on terms that are individually negotiated for each investment, with economic regeneration a key objective. Security or collateral are not necessarily required.

The £1.5 million funding from Santander Business Banking contains a mixture of Growth Capital and a commercial mortgage and has allowed the management team at Hallmark Sheet Metal to conduct a buy-out as well as invest for growth. Santander Growth Capital loans are targeted at UK businesses with annual turnovers of up to £50 million, which have a demonstrated history of high year-on-year growth in turnover, profit or employment. As well as the financial support, high-growth businesses can also access other support which includes training (masterclasses), mentoring and seminars as well as access to overseas trade missions and part-funded interns through our partner universities.

John Kennedy, Operations Director, Hallmark Sheet Metal Ltd, said: “There are significant opportunities across a number of sectors and we’ll look to capitalise on these going forward. The funding and support from Santander has been invaluable throughout the MBO process and we look forward to working with them further.”

Stuart Kelly, Relationship Director at Santander Business Banking, said: “The business has excellent growth forecasts, and is strategically targeting additional businesses to support the excellent client relationships they’ve already developed. Hallmark is meticulous in its production process, much of which is automated, ensuring very high-quality manufacturing. Overall the business has a great track record of consistent growth, and we’re delighted to be supporting them.”

Allan Wood of UKSE said: “Hallmark Sheet Metal has been at the cutting edge of its sector since it was established in 1996. With a fantastic reputation for quality, service and exciting expansion plans, we’re confident that the excellent new management team will be able to continue the growth trend seen over the last few years.”

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