Business partners Graham Edden and Pat Farrell acquire Brewis Engineering

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A specialist manufacturing company which supplies trenchless technology equipment to sectors including water, oil and gas has undergone a buyout.

Business partners Graham Edden and Pat Farrell have acquired Brewis Engineering for an undisclosed sum. The transaction has been supported with financial backing from WeDo Business Services.

Brewis, based in Somerset, specialises in the design, development and manufacture of equipment for the trenchless technology industry worldwide. Its products are used in the laying of pipes and cables in the water, oil and gas and utility industries.

The company was founded in 1984 by Rod Brewis in his garden shed. He invented the Brewis towing head to pull pipes ranging in diameter from 25mm to 900mm.

Other products in the Brewis portfolio include high flow transmitter housings, directional drilling swivels with a pullback capacity of up to 550 tons, along with cable swivels.

Brewis, which has 16 staff and is based at 10,000sq ft premises on the Marston Trading Estate in Frome, exports across Europe, the United States and Canada as well as to New Zealand and Australia, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, South Africa and India.

Following the buyout, Graham and Pat have become managing director and commercial director of Brewis respectively.

The pair have a wealth of business experience. Pat has spent most of his working life in the trenchless and construction industries. Graham is a seasoned investor and business leader who has built and run companies across a variety of sectors, including automotive, hospitality and waste management.

The deal provides an exit for Rod and his wife Sheila, who was company secretary. Paula Fitch has retired as commercial director. Operations director Michael Rudd remains with the business.

Graham said: “Brewis Engineering is renowned and respected throughout the world for its innovative, market-leading products. Rod and the team have laid a tremendous platform for us to build on and capitalise on the opportunities for growth, especially in the US but also in other territories.

“With the help of our fantastic and loyal workforce, we are looking to expand our manufacturing capacity and develop new products to provide sustainable growth over the coming years.

“Some of the staff have been with the company for more than 25 years, having served their apprenticeships with us, and there is a wealth of knowledge, skillsets and ideas among the team for us to harness and achieve our goals.

“We have some of the best engineers in the world here in the UK. The country’s design and manufacturing sector has a bright outlook despite the challenging economic headwinds, and we are proud to be playing our part in flying the flag.”

Rebekah Middleton and Jim McDonnell at WeDo Business Services arranged a funding package to help facilitate the buyout.

The WeDo group has its headquarters in Greater Manchester and additional offices nationwide. It provides invoice and trade finance, asset finance, loans and start-up funding to a growing client base, as well as accountancy, HR, back-office and IT services.

Rebekah said: “We were pleased to provide a package which enabled Graham and Pat to swiftly complete the acquisition once they engaged us. The founders and vendors, Rod and Sheila Brewis, have traded very successfully for 40 years and we wish them, Graham and Pat and the entire team all the very best for the future.”

Graham added: “Rebekah and Jim did a fantastic job in helping us to successfully complete the transaction. They were thorough, and moved mountains to get things done.

“We are excited to be taking a prestigious brand in the trenchless technology sector forward, using our extensive business and sector experience to support our customers and seize new opportunities.”

David Gledhill, Rachael Killworth and Jenny Chapman, of the asset-based lending team at law firm Bermans, provided advice and support to WeDo regarding the legal documentation involved in the transaction.

James Young and Helen Carter at Harding Evans Solicitors, based in South Wales, advised Graham and Pat on the acquisition. Financial due diligence was carried out by Marcel Frei, of GMT Finances.