Firm to hire more staff
BGF tops up Walker investment to support expansion
Eyeing an opportunity: (l-r) Gary Walker, Paddy Graham (BGF) and Mark Walker
Walker Precision Engineering, which makes high-precision components for the defence and space sectors, has secured a further £2.75m investment from BGF to support its business expansion in the UK and Europe.
BGF originally invested £4m in the Glasgow-based manufacturing business in January this year, and since then turnover and order intake have grown significantly.
Revenues increased from £14.9m in 2017 to £19.1m in this financial year, with the business forecasting continued growth in 2019 supported by a sustained increase in order intake. Walker’s order book has grown from £19m in September 2017 to £25m.
Founded in 1979 and run by brothers Gary and Mark Walker, the company employs more than 260 staff across premises in Glasgow, Basildon and Poland. The business recruited 12 employees during the last financial year and is planning further recruitment in the year ahead.
BGF’s funding has already allowed Walker to invest in specialist equipment at its Glasgow HQ, increasing its high accuracy machining capacity, as well as doubling the size of its Polish manufacturing facility.
The funding will enable Walker to expand its presence in existing and new markets on the back of recent customer wins
Mark Walker, managing director, said: “Walker has grown substantially since the BGF’s original investment, as its financial support allowed us to quickly upscale our existing operations and realise some new opportunities. The team can move quickly on decisions which puts us in a very competitive position within our market place.
“This investment will give the company the working capital we need to support our strategic growth plans, we’re excited by the prospects presented to us.”
Paddy Graham, BGF investor, added: “Walker is an exceptional business built on a strong heritage and integrity, demonstrated by the long-standing relationships it enjoys with a diverse range of customers.
“BGF fully supports Mark and Gary’s strategic ambitions to grow the business – they have already demonstrated Walker’s long-term growth potential by increasing the demand for its manufacturing services from the defence and industrial sectors in particular.”
The follow-on investment in Walker Precision Engineering brings the total BGF funding in Scotland in excess of £200m across more than 20 businesses. Its portfolio of growing companies includes Campion Homes, Jumpstart, Bar Soba, Keenan Recycling and M Squared.
BGF provides long-term patient capital to businesses with revenues typically between £5m and £100m in exchange for a minority, non-controlling stake. BGF invests exclusively in small and mid-sized firms headquartered in the UK and Ireland and is now the most active growth investor in the world.