Knife firm cuts in to leather industry

A Sheffield machine knife manufacturer has snapped up a Liverpool blade maker with net assets of £800,000, in a bid to diversify into supplying the leather industry.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28th January 2016, 12:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th January 2016, 12:34 pm
From left: Kevin Davies, Peter Crawford, Peter Oxspring, Rob Andrew, David Forrest and  Lisa Wallis
From left: Kevin Davies, Peter Crawford, Peter Oxspring, Rob Andrew, David Forrest and Lisa Wallis

Arkote has acquired Hardy UK which supplies splitting, shaving and fleshing blades to machinery manufacturers in more than 35 countries.

Arkote is a global market leader in the manufacture and supply of industrial machine knives to the tobacco industry. It has a history of manufacturing in the South Yorkshire region stretching back more than 130 years. In 2002 it was acquired by US-based distributor, Fi-Tech Inc.

Exports comprise more than 80 per cent of turnover. The firm’s factory is on Parkway Rise just outside Sheffield city centre.

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Arkote managing director Peter Oxspring said: “The similarities between Hardy UK now and Arkote at the point of its acquisition by Fi-Tech in 2002 are striking.

“Hardy UK’s manufacturing expertise within its industry niche is second to none, at the heart of which is the dedication of its employees.

“We have been supported by Fi-Tech since the acquisition with substantial investment in premises, state-of-the-art machinery and people.

“We plan to replicate that story of success with Hardy in the coming years.”

David Forrest and Kevin Davies of BHP Corporate Finance acted as lead advisors to Arkote and Fi-Tech on the acquisition.

Kevin Davies said: “This acquisition is a perfect fit for Arkote.

“The transaction brings together two long-established and highly regarded businesses which are each manufacturing leaders in their specialist niches.

“The enlarged group provides the ideal platform for the continued development of both businesses.”

Legal advisors to the Arkote team were Peter Crawford and Lisa Wallis from Freeths LLP’s Sheffield Corporate team.

Peter Crawford said: “We were delighted to work alongside Jeff Bassett, Peter Oxspring and the rest of the Arkote management.”