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Specialist rubber engineering firm acquires larger competitor with support from FBC Manby Bowdler
10 Jan 2017

DKL Rubber Ltd of Wem in Shropshire, has acquired Medcraft Bryden, a Cambridgeshire-based specialist rubber engineering business in a deal which was assisted by Stuart Rea of FBC Manby Bowdler’s corporate team.

Established in 1988, DKL Rubber began by providing high specification rubber mouldings and for almost 30 years has enjoyed high customer retention and an increasingly buoyant customer base. However, mindful of ensuring continued success and longevity for the business, Directors Robert and Ian Oakes were keen to extend their portfolio of services and so started to consider acquiring another company.

Early stage discussions with Medcraft Bryden commenced in 2015 but it wasn’t until early 2016 that those conversations really moved forward. Robert Oakes explains:

“We had known of Medcraft Bryden for a while and were impressed with the range of services that they offered, believing that these would be a good fit with the work we already carried out at DKL.

“However, as two relatively small enterprises with day to day business commitments to focus on, it took until earlier this year for those conversations to really start focusing on the desired result.”

Stuart Rea who oversaw the negotiations adds:

“The acquisition of a small business needs to be handled with care and sensitivity given that the firm is often the vendor’s life work and often a family concern as well. Robert and Ian were mindful of this and approached the transaction with the necessary time it takes to ensure that all parties were comfortable with how things progressed.

“Their acquisition of Medcraft Bryden, a firm three times their own size, places them in a very favourable position to not only extend the reach of each businesses’ distinct product and service portfolios, but also prepares them for further growth which I don’t doubt we’ll see from them in the coming years.”

For the foreseeable future, both the Wem and Cambridgeshire sites will be maintained and it is anticipated that cross-selling will be possible across each base. As a result of the acquisition, two additional members of staff have already been appointed to work from the Wem base.

Commenting on the services provided by Stuart Rea and FBC Manby Bowdler, Robert Oakes concludes:

“We have worked with Stuart and his team before as he had supported us on a previous acquisition. We, therefore, felt confident that he’d be the best man to support us in this latest stage of our business’ growth.

“Stuart is always considerate when dealing with a small business not used to working with solicitors but at the same time, employs the necessary focus to ensure that the negotiations don’t lose momentum. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending him and his team to other entrepreneurial businesses and am delighted that he’s supported us in what I hope will be become a pivotal stage in our growth journey.”

Meet Stuart Rea