AWS Group backed for £5.5m

Barclays back the engineering firm to expand


AWS Electronics Group, a provider of specialist manufacturing services, has secured a £5.5m equity investment.

The deal is provided by Barclays Ventures alongside a banking package from Yorkshire Bank. Barclays Ventures has also introduced John Weston, formerly chief executive officer of British Aerospace plc, to the company who will join the board as a non-executive chairman bringing contacts and industry experience to the business. AWS Electronics Group, which employs over 400 people in the UK and Slovakia, provides outsourced electronic manufacturing services for industries including medical, defence, aerospace and transport. The Newcastle-under-Lyme-based company, which has ISO 9001 accreditation, specialises in box build, wiring harness and cable assembly and also undertakes surface mount technology and through-hole printed circuit boards. The management team plans to more than double its current turnover of approximately £40m to over £80m within the next three years through a combination of organic growth and further acquisitions. Paul Deehan, chief executive of the AWS Group, said: “AWS has set out on a strategy which bucks the trend towards overseas manufacturing of the consumer electronics industry in the UK by focusing on low volume, highly technical products.   “Barclays Ventures understood management’s vision to grow this business both organically and by acquisition and have delivered a suitable investment package to facilitate this.” Deehan led a buy-in team with the acquisition of AWS Electronics supported by Jasper Corporate Finance LLP in December 2005. The deal was the catalyst for a series of acquisitions which has seen turnover grow from £10m to £40m. The group now comprises Newbury-based AWS Cemgraft which provides surface mount technology and printed circuit boards, Bedford-based AWS Jantec which offers repair and maintenance services, AWS Electronics in Staffordshire, another contract manufacturing service provider specialising in large unit assembly, as well as a lower-cost production facility in Slovakia, AWS Slovakia. © Crimson Business Ltd. 2008

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