Former sheet metal worker Gary Clarke becomes owner of Sheffield manufacturer Airflow World after 28 years

A former sheet metal worker and his colleague have staged a buy-out at the Sheffield manufacturing firm he started at 28 years ago.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 10:33 am

Gary Clarke and Samantha Hancock-Ridge have bought £2.7m turnover Airflow World Group, which employs 28.

The pair have worked for the industrial oven manufacturer for a total of 35 years. Gary started from school and worked his way up to become operations director. Samantha has run the finance department for seven years.

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New owners of Airflow World Group Limited, Gary Clarke and Samantha Hancock-Ridge.

Gary said: “I started my career with Airflow as a sheet metal worker straight from school, 28 years ago! I worked my way up to become the operations director and have a huge pride in the business and everything it has achieved to date.”

Airflow was founded by Nigel and Elaine Sharp and has been trading from Underhill Lane, Middlewood, since 1985. The couple have sold up and are retiring.

Dave Hyde will continue as managing director.

The company designs, manufactures and installs industrial ovens, laboratory ovens, spray booths and controlled environment enclosures for the aerospace, pharmaceutical, electronics and oil exploration industries worldwide. Clients include Formula 1 teams and blue-chip and AIM-listed companies.

Samantha and Gary were advised by Samantha Sellars and Matt Milnes of Hentons Corporate Finance who providing legal and corporate finance services.

Samantha said: “Samantha and Gary have the knowledge, experience and energy to expand the business even further, and it was a real pleasure to work with them as they take ownership of the business.”

The vendors were advised by Taylor and Emmet Solicitors.

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