Business Growth Fund backs automotive parts manufacturer VTL with £4m investment

Funding will diversify product range for Huddersfield-based company

The Business Growth Fund (BGF) today announced it has invested in leading precision-engineered automotive parts manufacturer VTL Group, in a deal worth £4m.

Founded in 2001, VTL manufactures components in its niche fields of turbo and transmission for the commercial vehicle and passenger car markets.

Launched with a single product and a single site, the company has since grown into a global company with revenues in excess of £50m and worldwide automotive clients including Toyota, Renault and Nissan.

Headquartered in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, VTL also has manufacturing and technical facilities in the USA, India and Japan.

The BGF investment will facilitate further growth of the business by acquiring new automotive manufacturing customers and diversifying VTL’s product range.

As part of the deal, BGF has introduced former chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Michael Baunton as non-executive chairman.

Backed by five of the UK’s high street banks, the Business Growth Fund was established to help growing businesses in the UK by investing between £2m and £10m per business in exchange for a minority equity stake and a seat on the board for a BGF director.

Run by an independent management team, BGF’s capital is estimated to be around £2.5bn.

Richard Taylor of the Business Growth Fund commented on the deal: “Employing over 300 skilled staff in the UK alone, VTL is a prime example of a Yorkshire manufacturing firm with its heart in the UK and operations across the globe.

“VTL is managed by a high calibre team that has created a business of scale and carved out a leading position in its niche markets. There is significant scope for growth both organically and with the opportunity to acquire complementary businesses which management have demonstrated that they can integrate quickly and efficiently.”

Bruno Jouan, chief executive of VTL, said: “We see a number of exciting ways to grow the business organically and acquisitively both here in the UK and overseas.

“Our partnership with BGF and continued support from HSBC will enable us take advantage of the significant growth opportunities in the automotive component manufacturing and development markets.”

Incoming non-executive chairman of VTL Michael Baunton added:

“I am delighted to be joining the board of VTL at such an exciting time in its development. Its growth opportunities have been given a significant boost with BGF’s investment and the company and its management team have impressed me with what they achieved to date.

“I hope to be able to add significant value to VTL through my contacts and experience in the automotive industry.”

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