Walker to fuel expansion with BGF investment

Walker Precision Engineering's Gary (left) and Mark Walker (right) with Paddy Graham from Business Growth Fund (centre). Picture: Peter Sandground
Walker Precision Engineering's Gary (left) and Mark Walker (right) with Paddy Graham from Business Growth Fund (centre). Picture: Peter Sandground
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Glasgow-based manufacturer Walker Precision Engineering has secured a fresh multi-million pound funding boost to fuel its growth ambitions in the UK and Europe.

The family-run firm, which makes high-precision components for the defence and space sectors, has been awarded a further £2.75 million investment from Business Growth Fund (BGF) to build on recent customer wins by expanding its presence in existing and new markets.

This follows on from BGF’s initial £4m investment in Walker in January, after the manufacturer reported that turnover and order intake had “grown significantly” since the beginning of the year.

Revenues rose by £4m to £19.1m in the current financial year, with the business forecasting continued growth into 2019, while Walker’s order book has jumped from £19m to more than £25m.

Mark Walker, managing director at Walker Precision Engineering, said: “This investment will give the company the working capital we need to support our strategic growth plans, we’re excited by the prospects presented to us.

“The team can move quickly on decisions which puts us in a very competitive position within our market place.

“Walker has grown substantially since the BGF’s original investment, as its financial support allowed us to quickly upscale our existing operations and realise some new opportunities.”

BGF’s funding has already allowed Walker to double the size of its Polish manufacturing facility and increase its high accuracy machining capacity by investing in specialist equipment for its Glasgow headquarters.

It also recruited 12 new staff in the last year and is now planning further recruitment to support expansion.

Founded in 1979 and run by brothers Mark and Gary Walker, the company employs about 260 staff across premises in Glasgow, Basildon and Poland.

The follow-on investment in Walker brings the total BGF funding in Scotland to upwards of £200m across more than 20 businesses.

BGF, which describes itself as “the most active growth investor in the world”, provides capital to businesses with revenues typically between £5m and £100m in exchange for a minority, non-controlling stake.

Its portfolio of companies includes Campion Homes, Jumpstart, Bar Soba, Keenan Recycling and M Squared.

Paddy Graham, BGF investor, said: “Walker is an exceptional business built on a strong heritage and integrity, demonstrated by the long-standing relationships it enjoys with a diverse range of customers.

“BGF fully supports Mark and Gary’s strategic ambitions to grow the business – they have already demonstrated Walker’s long-term growth potential by increasing the demand for its manufacturing services from the defence and industrial sectors in particular.”