A £4 million boost to the UK’s automotive sector has been announced today as the Business Growth Fund (BGF) invests in precision component company VTL.
The independent, BGF, has invested £45 million in UK manufacturing since it was established in 2011, but this is its first move into the automotive sector.
Formed in 2001, VTL is one of the UK’s largest developers and manufacturers of precision transmission and turbo components and has worked with a number of commercial vehicle partners including Cummins. It employs more than 400 people, generates more than £50 million in revenue.
BGF Business Director Mark Bryant said, “VTL is a prime example of a manufacturing firm with its heart in the UK and operations across the globe.
“BGF funding will allow the business to grow organically by developing new customers in the automotive sector and increasing the range of components it manufactures for existing customers. It will also provide the financial means for VTL to pursue other acquisitions and investments in the future.”
Bruno Jouan, Chief Executive Officer of VTL, said, “Engineering firms such as VTL have the power to drive the UK economy for many years to come provided that we continue to invest appropriately in R&D, new products and highly skilled people.
As well as the equity investment, the BGF has also introduced Mike Baunton, former Interim Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, to VTL as Non-Executive Chairman.
Baunton brings considerable experience to Huddersfield-based VTL besides his tenure at the SMMT. A former president of Tenneco and Perkins Engines, and Vice President of Caterpillar, he also sits on the board of TT Electronics and ACAL Energy.
He said, “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.”