Hydraulic engineering company Quick has been bought out of administration and the jobs of 19 employees saved. The acquisition by County Durham-based Altec Engineering was quick in more ways than one. The directors of Quick Hydraulics put the company in to administration on Monday – and within 24 hours the company was sold. Dan Butters and Clare Boardman of Deloitte LLP were appointed joint administrators before Altec acquired the trade and assets in an undisclosed deal which safeguards the jobs of two-thirds of the workforce.
Altec CEO Alastair Waite says: “We were attracted by the excellent reputation of Quick Hydraulics in the market place and the expertise of the team in delivering high-quality hydraulic systems and solutions. It was an obvious fit to widen the Altec Group capabilities and reach.”
Andrew Esson will continue as Managing Director of North Shields-based Quick, which counts SMD, Siemens, Baker Hughes and EDF Energy amongst its clients. He says: “We have been through a very challenging 12 months due particularly to the downturn in the oil and gas sector. Many of the projects we had hoped to land were either subject to delays or cancelled altogether, and it was clear that we would have to restructure the business.
“I am delighted that Quick will become part of the larger Altec Engineering Group. I have known Alastair for many years and together we will take the business forward.” Andrew, who has picked up awards as well as plaudits for Quick’s growth in recent years, adds: “It has not been an easy few months for staff, customers or suppliers but being part of a larger group which has the backing and support of one of the country’s largest funding providers bodes well for the future.” Quick’s Aberdeen base is being retained as part of the deal.
This is the third acquisition by Bowburn-based Altec in less than 12 months as the company continues to experience strong organic growth and make strategic acquisitions. The Quick deal follows hard on the heels of the acquisitions of Sigma Technologies based in West Yorkshire and Ronco Engineering based in Tanfield Lea. Having beaten off competition to acquire Quick, Alastair, recently named Mentor of the Year at the North East Entrepreneurial Awards, believes the deal will strengthen Altec’s offering to a wider customer base and develop new opportunities. He says: “Altec and Quick operate in similar sectors and have many of the same customers, particularly in the oil and gas, automotive, defence, aerospace and manufacturing sectors. There were two key reasons why this deal was attractive to us. Firstly, Altec, as a designer and manufacturer of special purpose machinery, often incorporates hydraulics in our solutions and having access to ‘in-group’ expertise will be invaluable. Secondly, our five-axis CNC machining capability will allow the business to enter new market areas such as the design and manufacture of bespoke hydraulic manifolds.”
Founded in 1978, Altec now employs more than 150 people and is the fastest-growing sub-contract precision engineering company in the North East. It has recently received the support of Business Growth Fund in a deal worth £6m to accelerate its growth plans, invest in people and technology and develop deeper relationships with clients who operate across multiple sectors.
Joanne Whitfield, FW Capital’s fund manager in the North East, says: “We have previously backed both Altec and QuickHydraulics and I’m pleased that they’re now joining forces. I’m confident that Altec will continue to go from strength to strength and capitalise on many potential synergies.” Dan Butters from Deloitte says: “We are delighted to confirm that the business of Quick has been successfully sold and jobs saved. The level of interest arising from the sale process is a testament to the quality of the business and the management team. We wish them well for the future.”