Williams Grand Prix Holdings plc has entered into an agreement for the sale of a majority equity stake in Williams Advanced Engineering Limited (WAE) to funds controlled by EMK Capital LLP, an independent private equity firm.
EMK will also invest funds directly into WAE to support and accelerate its long-term growth, including the commercialisation of various technology opportunities.
Williams will continue to retain a significant minority interest in the WAE business. The transaction is expected to conclude within the next few weeks.
Since its inception in 2011, WAE has enjoyed substantial growth, now employing a workforce of more than 300 people, who are currently working on over 40 live projects across a diverse range of sectors, including automotive, motorsport, aerospace, marine, defence and healthcare.
WAE has a particularly strong reputation in the automotive industry, playing a vital role in projects for leading brands including Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus and Nissan.
“We have rapidly grown WAE from an embryonic one client start-up, to a business with many clients in multiple sectors,” said Mike O’Driscoll, Group Chief Executive Officer of WGPH. “The time is now right to sell a majority stake to enable WAE to further scale and develop its technologies. EMK Capital have a proven track record of success which will enable WAE to take advantage of these emerging opportunities and realise its full potential.”
“Williams Advanced Engineering has developed a strong reputation for providing energy-efficient advanced performance solutions to a diverse range of sectors and blue-chip clients,” added Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering. “This expertise and our technologies in areas such as electrification, lightweight structures, aerodynamics and precision manufacture will become even more relevant and in-demand globally going forward. This new ownership structure will enable WAE to take advantage of these emerging opportunities and comes at a pivotal moment allowing us to further invest in new areas of capability and technologies in order to realise the full potential of the business.”
“We are excited about partnering with WGPH and the WAE management team to support further growth in this exceptional engineering business which has achieved so much in such a short period of time,” said Edmund Lazarus, Managing Partner of EMK.