HURST is committed to helping businesses grow in a competitive environment. One of the ways we can do this is by sharing the knowledge and experience of other leading companies.
In this article, we visit our client Statiflo in Macclesfield, one year after we advised on their Management Buy Out (MBO)…A year has passed since managing director Gareth Fry acquired a majority stake in engineering company Statiflo International. Gareth, 37, took a 70 per cent stake in the international business, leaving founder and chairman John Baron with 30 per cent.
John set up Statiflo in a spare bedroom in Wilmslow in 1983 and recruited Gareth as sales manager in 2008. After that, Gareth became operations director before being appointed as MD in November 2015 as the succession plans took shape. Statiflo, which has its headquarters in Macclesfield and subsidiaries in the United States and Germany, is a world leader in the design and distribution of static mixers and other chemical process equipment.
It supplies the water and wastewater treatment industries, oil and gas, petrochemical, food, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper sectors. Statiflo’s products are used in more than 80 countries and the group has annual revenues of more than £5m. One of Gareth’s first moves was to bring in experienced Ron Russ to the new post of global sales and marketing director.
“He’s done a super job. Ron’s team is working very well and we are now a more sales-focused organisation,” says Gareth. Statiflo has seen strong growth in the Far East and the Middle East in the past year and continues to strengthen its position in the UK market. Looking ahead, Ron is targeting Russia and Ukraine as he seeks to increase export sales.
Statiflo’s current order book is up year-on-year and it is already ahead of target for its next financial year, which starts on June 1. Gareth says the fall in the value of the pound has helped, with overseas customers taking advantage of more favourable exchange rates to revive projects that had been on hold.
He remains unfazed by the issue of Brexit.
“We are very well-positioned to meet the challenges of Brexit. Statiflo is small enough to be nimble. We can react very quickly to a changing environment and we are fortunate that we have established subsidiaries in Germany and the US. “The company has a strong foothold in Europe and, if the trading arrangements following Brexit appear unfavourable for the UK, we can drive a lot of business from Germany and turn it into more of a European hub.
“Our staff based there are in a good position to take on more responsibility for our European trading, which would reduce our exposure to risk.” Gareth says Statiflo remains focused on developing new products, with Macclesfield very much at the heart of its engineering strategy. The firm currently employs 23 staff and Gareth is looking to recruit an apprentice engineer.
“We have a wealth of experience in our engineering team and want to develop new talent to complement this,” he says. “We are also fortunate to have John very much involved in the business. “He is still very active at board level and acts as a mentor to some of our younger engineers. His contribution to the business remains as valuable and valued as ever as we look to the future.”
For more information on Statiflo, visit www.statiflo.com