WEC Group

WEC Group takes 50% Stake in Submarine Manufacturing & Products (SMP)

Lancashire-based welding and fabrication firm, WEC Group has secured a 50% stake in Preston-based subsea technology developer, Submarine Manufacturing & Products (SMP). The company specialises in commercial diving and hyperbaric equipment, and is expected to benefit from WEC Group’s wealth of engineering knowledge as well as business expertise.

As a key identity in the CNC machining and precision tooling sector, WEC Group also has the advantage of strong purchasing power amongst suppliers – something it from which SMP will hugely benefit. As a result, the part-acquisition could present SMP with the prospect to grow its global presence, increasing exports and price competitiveness more generally.

WEC Group is already a partner within SMP’s supply chain and the two companies have enjoyed a positive working relationship for some years. With core specialisms in the fabrication and manufacture of anything from rail gantries to armoured vehicle hulls and extending into pressure vessels and equipment built to ASME standards.

The joint venture will take the group’s overall headcount to some 680 people and, more importantly, it will extend the experience and knowledge of both companies individually. Whilst WEC Group will provide SMP the ability the take on more technically demanding projects as well as those with a greater emphasis on schedule, the subsea parts manufacturer will support WEC Group’s diversification ambitions and improve its ability to perform as an end-to-end service provider.

Both Steve Hartley, Managing Director and Wayne Wild, Group Commercial Director at WEC Group will take an active role within SMP’s business operations having joined the board of directors. The hope is that the two experienced directors will be able to foster a positive relationship between the two companies and effective promote a collaborative and lucrative partnership.

Hartley was positive about the merger and emphasised the two companies are a very good strategic fit. Of course, Managing Director of SMP, Phil Connolly is also a long-time personal friend of Hartley’s and thus the firms are likely to remain mutually beneficial.

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