Private equity buyer for Formaplex

08 Feb 2021

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Lightweight component specialist Formaplex has been acquired by UK Private Equity fund Elaghmore.

The company is an integrated manufacturer and supplier of lightweight component solutions to the global automotive, motorsport, aerospace, medical and defence markets. 

Established nearly 20 years ago and with revenues in excess of £60 million, Formaplex operates from four manufacturing sites based across the South Coast of England. The business started as a specialist tooling partner for the F1 motorsport sector before adding injection mould tooling and moulding to its skillset and developing expertise in composite components. Formaplex employs over 500 employees, and, following the acquisition, the business will continue to be led by Mike Bryant, CEO. 

Recent projects completed by Formaplex include lightweight carbon fibre body panels for super cars, the prototype development of the complete structural tub for a new hypercar, fan case liners for a new carbon fibre jet engine programme, complex high performance injection moulded parts for the luxury car sector and components for surgical robots. 

Elaghmore says Formaplex fits its investment strategy of using the existing executive team’s proven operational skills to deliver significant growth and create value. IT believes that with its hands-on approach and capital support Formaplex can deliver substantial growth in the mid to long term across automotive and the other sectors it services. 

Earlier this year Elaghmore acquired Orchard House Foods, which was the fund’s largest acquisition to date. 

In total, Elaghmore has now made eleven acquisitions. Nine of these have been combined to create three distinct businesses: Total Vehicle Solutions Group; Alucraft/ EAG Group; and Hexcite Group. Like Orchard House Foods, Formaplex is a standalone investment for Elaghmore. Together, Elaghmore businesses have a combined annual turnover of £230 million and employ more than 1,400 people across the UK, Ireland & Europe. 

Andy Ducker, Co-Founder, Elaghmore, said: “Formaplex has developed a global reputation for high-quality, precision engineering. We believe it has significant potential for continued growth in all sectors it services. More and more businesses across the automotive, motorsport, aerospace and defence sectors are looking for lightweight solutions to replace traditional component materials to increase efficiency and lessen their environmental impact. We look forward to being part of this growth by providing Mike and the team with financial and operational support. 

“This transaction follows our recent acquisition of Orchard House Foods and shows our deal pipeline is full of interesting opportunities. Elaghmore is well-placed to help traditionally successful companies that have been impacted by COVID-19, especially as Government support schemes end, and bank support is limited.” 

Mike Bryant, CEO, Formaplex, said: “This is a fantastic new partnership that will take Formaplex to the next level. There are so many opportunities across multiple sectors for our lightweight engineering solutions to be applied to and having the support of Elaghmore behind us makes for some truly exciting prospects.” 


Photo: Formaplex applied its lightweight component skills to develop an ultra-light chassis for a solar powered electric car project