Burnley aerospace firm safeguards 60 jobs

First published in Business

BURNLEY-based MB Aerospace Holdings has bought a firm which supplies parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon and Airbus A330, safeguarding 60 jobs in the industry.

The company, which has its headquarters on the Heasandford industrial estate, has acquired the business and certain assets of Thomson Aero Ltd from administrators KPMG.

The sale safeguards the company’s 60-strong workforce and provides the opportunity for continued manufacturing at its Frome site in Somerset.

The business will form a new division of MB Aerospace, alongside the group’s three UK-based facilities in Derby, Burnley and Motherwell.

Founded in 1959, Thomson Aero Ltd has a blue-chip customer base and provides engineering solutions and manufactured aero-engine components for a number of civil, defence and industrial gas turbines.

With recent annual revenues of approximately £6million, Thomson has developed a sophisticated range of engineering and production capabilities for a number of key aero-engine programmes, including complex machined components supporting the Eurofighter, which is partly assembled at BAE's Samlesbury site.

Craig Gallagher, chief executive officer of MB Aerospace Holdings, said: “This acquisition provides us with a range of additional complex machining capabilities and a highly skilled workforce ready to support the challenging needs of our global customers, including Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, Boeing and GKN Aerospace.

“The administration of Thomson Aero Ltd has been a challenging period for employees, customers and supplier stakeholders alike; however, I’m confident the acquisition provides the best solution available for all and that MB Aerospace will be able to stabilise the business and position it for future growth.”

The deal marks MB Aerospace’s second acquisition in just three months following the recent purchase of Gentz Aero, based in Detroit, USA in December 2011, bringing the total number of employees in the MBAe Group to almost 450.

MB Aerospace, on the , has benefitted from the support of its major equity investor, LDC, which backed the management buyout of the business in 2007.

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