New chapter for HTA as it joins the WEC Group

WEC Group, one of the UK’s largest engineering and fabrication companies, has completed a deal which sees the Coventry-based HTA Group join its growing family of businesses.

Wayne Wild - High res

The multi-million pound partnership deal sees the Darwen-headquartered WEC Group continue to dominate the UK’s laser cutting and fabrication sector.

HTA, which has a 130-strong workforce and a £10m annual turnover, joins WEC Group to create a business with 800 employees and a projected £75m turnover.

Founded in 1973, HTA  is one of the UK’s largest subcontract manufacturers. It is a leading supplier of laser cut parts, sheet metal components and fabricated assemblies.

HTA managing director Adam Thomas is working within the expanded business on a consultancy basis while his brother Philip remains a key member of the HTA staff.

Adam said: “The synergy with WEC Group is very strong and this deal makes both businesses much stronger entities. It really enhances our capabilities and capacity and that is a major advantage to all our customers.

“I would like to place on record my family’s thanks to the staff at HTA who, in more than 40 years, have provided a first class service to our loyal customer base.”

Wayne Wild, commercial director of the family-owned WEC Group, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for HTA Group, its workforce and its present and future customers.

“HTA’s partnership with WEC Group, announced today, will create a major new force in the UK’s laser cutting and fabrication sector and allows both companies to offer more to our customers.

“Continuous investment in new technology and in our workforce has been the hallmark of the WEC Group’s success and we’re delighted to welcome HTA into our growing family. It’s a really great fit for our business.

“As another family run company we’re aware of the name HTA has forged for itself and its reputation for high quality work, service and delivery. Our aim is to build on that.

“Both companies share the same values of continuous investment, commitment to training and a strong belief in customer care. That’s why we believe this new partnership is right for both businesses.

“The expanded group makes us one of the largest laser cutting and fabrication operations in the UK. It means we can offer more services and skills to our customers.

“The coming together of both companies paves the way to future success – not only for our businesses but for our customers as well.

“In more than 35 years of trading we have always grown the business in a strategic and sustainable way. This deal continues that approach.

“We have continued to invest in the future, both in terms of technology and in training, with the only in-house welding and fabrication training academy of its kind in the country - ranked in the top three in the UK as an apprenticeship provider.”

Pauline Rigby, partner, and Nick Pickup, associate solicitor, of the central Lancashire-based Corporate and Restructuring team at Forbes, the largest legal practice in the North West outside the major cities, advised WEC on the transaction.

They were assisted by Blackburn-based PM+M Chartered Accountants.

Pauline said: “WEC Group dominates the UK’s fabrication and manufacturing industry and we are delighted to have acted for them in a deal which sees two family companies join forces.”

The new deal means that the expanded WEC Group will have 23 laser cutting machines working across all its operations, including two tube machines that will allow HTA to offer 3D laser cutting to its customers for the first time. The group now has 800 staff working across nine sites in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Merseyside and the West Midlands. In the past 12 months, WEC Group has invested around £11m in new machinery and workspace, including £7m on a new 300,000 sq ft factory in South Yorkshire.