Specialist manufacturing business A. Smith Gt. Bentley Ltd (ASGB) has announced that it has agreed to sell a 60% stake in the business to BISLT. A definitive agreement has been signed and is subject only to regulatory approval by the Chinese government. BISLT is the holding company of New Long March, China’s premier specialist coachbuilding company located in Beijing with whom ASGB has already successfully partnered on a number of projects.
ASGB, a family owned business, will see £4 million worth of investment brought into the company as a result of this deal. Simon Hare, current CEO will retain a 40% stake and also remain in post; all other family members will exit as shareholders upon completion including Barry Hare, who will retire as chairman of ASGB.
ASGB has been based just outside Colchester, Essex since 1955 and is the area’s largest private employer of skilled workers employing over 100 people. ASGB’s skilled and dedicated team operates from an impressive 5,200m2 Essex based factory developing high quality engineered solutions for outside broadcast, medical facilities, hospitality and power generation businesses. With each project a bespoke build, ASGB blends specialist engineering with skilled craftsmanship to breathe life into a client’s brief. As part of the partnership the Essex site will remain at the centre of ASGB’s operations with further investment planned.
Speaking about the deal, Simon Hare, CEO of ASGB said: “This is great news for ASGB. This deal will give us the resources and capital we require to strengthen our Global ‘Smiths’ brand and our Essex factory as well as giving us the means to expand into a number of exciting new markets worldwide.”
Mr Hu, Chairman of BISLT said: “ASGB’s reputation is very well-known amongst its target sectors. We are keen to explore opportunities in China and the rest of the world and believe partnering with ASGB will give us the knowledge, experience and strategic focus to deliver innovations to these audiences.”
ASGB has an impressive client portfolio which spans 65 countries including China, Russia and Australia. It has developed a number of leading innovations and this investment will enable ASGB to remain focused on delivering innovation across the broadcasting and hospitality sectors. It also has ambitious plans to establish a medical division. In addition the investment will enable ASGB to set up a new sales force to support its global sales efforts.