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Tyneside engineering business sells off aerospace division


North East manufacturing specialist Express Engineering has sold its aerospace division to focus on developing its subsea energy products business.

Tyneside engineering business sells off aerospace division


"We have disposed of the aerospace business to focus on our core subsea products. Aerospace was a small, albeit profitable division, but is not part of our strategic focus."
Gary Thirlwell, managing director of Express Engin



North East manufacturing specialist Express Engineering has sold its aerospace division to focus on developing its subsea energy products business.

Gateshead-based Express Engineering, a global leader in innovative manufacturing, assembly and testing solutions for the subsea oil and gas industry, has sold its aerospace division for an undisclosed sum.

The aerospace division has been acquired by Paralloy limited a Nimbus LLC company, which has operations in Billingham, Middlesbrough and Sheffield as it continues to expand its capabilities in aerospace and other sectors. The sale was formalised several months ago but the relocation of jobs and assets from Team Valley to a new facility near Middlesbrough was only recently completed.

Gary Thirlwell, managing director of Express Engineering, said: “We have disposed of the aerospace business to focus on our core subsea products. Aerospace was a small, albeit profitable division, but is not part of our strategic focus.

“During the last year or two, we have been transforming Express Engineering through a new product strategy and investment in infrastructure that includes a new test and assembly facility. To continue to compete in global markets and provide customers with top quality subsea products and services we need to be fully focussed on that task and sector.”

Express Engineering originally acquired the aerospace business from Burdon Engineering, in Stokesley, North Yorkshire in 2013. The business continued to operate from this site until around 2016/17 when it was moved and integrated within Express Engineering at a factory unit on Team Valley.

Gary Thirlwell added: “We were delighted to find a buyer for this successful business; one who is committed to investing in it to make it a bigger enterprise. We’re also pleased to see that the skilled workforce, most of whom commuted to Team Valley from Teesside and North Yorkshire, will now be working much closer to home.”

Robert McGowan, CEO of Paralloy & FVC, said: “2020 has been a great year for Paralloy Ltd, despite the difficult economic and trading conditions created by the pandemic in 2020,  Paralloy continued to grow, invest and more recently acquire the Express Engineering aerospace division which is an ideal fit with our Firth Vickers Centrispinning business.

“A new company called Firth Vickers Engineering has been born out of this acquisition and is now established at the Teesamp advanced manufacturing park in Middlesbrough. This strategic investment coupled with other investments in the pipeline ideally positions the business to offer turnkey supply and grow from strength to strength.”

Express Engineering was supported by a legal team led by James Nightingale at law firm Ward Hadaway.

Since embarking on a refocused business strategy at the end of 2018, Express Engineering has seen sales in the oil and gas sector grow significantly resulting in a jump in revenues to more than £35m for 2020.

Working with customers like TechnipFMC, Baker Hughes and Aker Solutions, Express Engineering is a significant exporter of products, operating within various geographical areas, including the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, east coast of Brazil, east and west coasts of Africa and Australasia.

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