The deal means that ETG adds additive manufacturing, including 3D Systems and Markforged, plus Mitsubishi and OPS-Ingersoll EDM machines - which include the fastest EDM model in the world - to its existing portfolio that includes Chiron, Nakamura, Quaser, Hardinge, Bavius and Stama.

Explains Martin Doyle, ETG managing director: “3D printing, in particular, has gone through the ‘proving’ stage and is now seen as a viable way of manufacturing for subcontractors and OEMs. As a result, the surge in sales in the marketplace is huge and expected to hit $14bn globally by the end of 2020.”

Of the decision to acquire a business and not just add more brands, he says: “We had two choices. Look to take on existing principals and agree new distribution agreements or purchase a company that is already established in the sector and can boast immediate access to world-class brands and a whole host of technical expertise with their current staff.”

And the Pexion Group is well known to ETG, in fact, as Doyle explains: “Pexion Group is a key account for ETG, with multiple CNC machines installed across its group of companies. We knew it was reviewing how to develop HK Holdings, so decided we would approach it about the possibility of integrating it into our business.

“It’s a perfect fit. We have a nationwide network of customers for CNC machining and automation and a lot of those have a need for EDM machines and additive manufacturing, and this works the other way, too.”

Darren Turner, co-owner of the Pexion Group, adds his support: “The majority of our businesses are focused on manufacturing and this deal provides HK Holdings with a new parent that can really unlock its potential and technical expertise.

“It’s a good acquisition for both parties and gives us the opportunity to focus on our core manufacturing activities, whilst the additional funding generated will help us deliver our ambitious growth plans.”

Concludes Doyle: “HK Technologies is a respected brand and has excellent people working in the company. Our plan is to invest in the name, a new marketing drive and ensure the vast technical knowledge is brought to the fore, maximising cross-selling opportunities in the process.

“There are a number of ancillary products we can add to our portfolio, ranging from laser marking and gear grinding machines to precision shaft machining equipment and tooling systems. This is a major deal and one that will make the rest of the sector sit up and take notice.”