Rapidly expanding UTS Engineering, based in Jarrow, has defied the economic conditions to purchase Buckinghamshire-based Ulrich Attachments Ltd, a specialist attachment manufacturer for mobile plant machinery.

Established in 1998, Ulrich, which has a £5 million turnover, designs front-end attachments for wheeled loaders, tractors, excavators and telescopic handlers for customers including JCB, Volvo, Cat, Bell, CNH and Liebherr.

The business, employing 15 staff, has strong synergies with UTS group company, LCR, based in Hull, which offers a 65,000sq ft facility, providing a fully equipped one-stop-shop, offering fabrication, stress relieving, high precision machining, load testing, shot blast and paint and assembly and test. Indeed, for a number of years LCR has been a supplier to Ulrich.

UTS, was established in 2001 by managing director, Shaun Sadler and employs in excess of 250 staff, the majority of whom are based at the company’s design and manufacturing facility at the Bede Industrial Estate, Jarrow.

Shaun Sadler, said: “Ulrich is highly respected in its sector for the quality and innovation of its products. It has an exceptional management team, headed by Jim Hopkinson, who founded the business in 1998. Amongst its customers are some of the world’s most iconic brands such as JCB and Volvo and it operates in a wide range of industries, including aggregates, recycling and forestry, as well as supplying organisations such as the Environment Agency, the Ministry of Defence and the US Army. We saw immediate synergies with the work we are already doing in the market through LCR Limited and when we realised there was an opportunity to purchase the business we moved very quickly.”

UTS Engineering produces a vast range of couplings, flange adapters and repair clamps for customers in the UK and export markets. Its unique selling point is having the capability to provide almost any product for the piping industry, to incorporate tailor-made solutions and to fabricate its products to suit any size of diameter and oval pipes, if required. In the UK its primary focus is the utilities sector but the company has an expanding foothold in the Middle East and has operated in Dubai since 2004, where it has both a manufacturing facility and office. In addition, it has two offices in Abu Dhabi and is about to open a factory and office in Saudi Arabia.

Jim Hopkinson, managing director, Ulrich Attachments Ltd, said: “We have a very good reputation in the market, not least due to our exceptional design capabilities and we have a strong order book. However, we remain very ambitious and to grow the business further we really need to step up our export activity, where we see great opportunities.

“We have developed a very good working relationship with UTS Engineering and we felt that with the additional resource that it can make available together with its growing presence across the Middle East, that it was perfectly placed to take the Ulrich brand to the next level. There are exciting times ahead as we look forward to being part of the group and to moving the business to the next level.”

Matt Collen, partner in the corporate and commercial team at Sintons, alongside senior associate Emma Pern, completed the deal on behalf of UTS.

“This is a very significant acquisition for UTS, which is again clearly stating its ambitions as a fast-growing player in this sector. By defying the economic conditions to make this acquisition, UTS has placed itself in a strong position to go forward and take advantage of further opportunities. As the long-standing advisors to Shaun and his team, we are very pleased to support them in completing this deal.”

Picture caption: Shaun Sadler (front centre), managing director of UTS Engineering with (from left to right) Emma Pern, Sintons, Gerard Hiscock, UTS Engineering, Matt Collen, Sintons and Jim Hopkinson, Ulrich Attachments.