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Family firm builds momentum through acquisition

R S Byers Management Team – left to right: Mr Nick Byers, Mrs Patricia Byers, Mr Robert Barbour.

A family-run engineering business in Carlisle has purchased a key competitor as part of bold plans to grow, backed by funding from Clydesdale Bank.

R S Byers Engineering Ltd has acquired rival Nixon Engineering Ltd (NEL) in a major deal which has enabled the company to expand its service offering and grow its revenues.

The family firm has gained the full premises of NEL in central Carlisle, allowing it to offer new products and services to customers including fabrication work for the first time. The company added five new staff through the takeover, taking its roster to a total of ten, all retained post-acquisition, allowing continuity for the workforce and customers.

The Bank provided a six-figure lending package towards the purchase alongside working capital, which the business has used to buy new machinery including a 450-tonne hydraulic press. The acquisition has been well received by the local market, as the company has more than doubled its monthly turnover post-purchase, maintained its existing customer book and added new business.

Nick Byers, Director at R S Byers Engineering, said: “The idea of buying NEL was prompted by one of our customers and it made perfect strategic sense. Our own infrastructure needed to be upgraded and we needed more space and staff to grow. We’re now focused on enhancing the premises, with new machinery and aesthetic upgrades to improve the customer experience.

“In the future, we’re looking to acquire two ISO accreditations, as well as expanding the footprint of the services we offer, including to Scotland and further south to Birmingham. The acquisition is the key reason that we’re now able to lift our sights and expand more quickly.

“When we finally decided to take the plunge, Clydesdale backed us all the way and made sure all the elements were in place for a smooth transaction.”

R S Byers Engineering was set up in 1979 by Robin and Patricia Byers on the outskirts of Carlisle. Their son, Nick Byers, became a Partner in the business in 1992. It offers mechanical and manufacturing engineering for businesses (primarily SMEs) across Carlisle, Cumbria and the North West of England, designing and building products alongside running a repairs service.

Andy Gibson, Commercial Relationship Manager at Clydesdale Bank, added: “It’s a wonderful feeling to see the business seizing such an advantageous strategic opportunity. Given the company name is already synonymous with quality, this will only help them get stronger over time and attract new customers nationally.”

“Our Bank stands behind manufacturers across the region throughout times of both challenge and opportunity and we look forward to being by Patricia and Nick’s side to support them into the future.”

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