East meets west as deal creates UK-wide specialist critical moving parts distributor
Antifriction Components, which supplies critical moving parts for industry, has acquired the industrial arm of the BRT Group in a deal that will make it the UK’s largest specialist distributor of its type.
The multi-million pound acquisition brings together Bristol-based Antifriction, which has ten depots located largely on the west side of the UK, with Wisbech-based BRT Industrial, whose nine depots are mainly in the east, to create a UK-wide distribution network.
The deal will allow the family-run BRT Group to focus on its strengths in the automotive market. The group is the UK’s leading supplier of vehicle ball bearings. Founded in 1967, it is now run by the third generation of the family.
As part of the deal, one of the family members – Phillip Clarke who is managing director of BRT Industrial – will transfer to Antifriction along with his 49 staff.
Phillip said: “While we are very proud of our heritage as a family business, the market has evolved and reluctantly we recognised that we needed to demerge the two arms of the business. This deal will allow both sides to prosper by focusing on our specialist areas.
“Antifriction shares our values and many of our supply partners. Joining forces will give us a strong national footprint and open up new opportunities for both sides. We look forward to working together and see a bright future ahead.”
Andrew Fleming, Antifriction’s managing director, added: “Antifriction has been growing rapidly in recent years, and despite the difficult economic conditions, we continue to invest and look to the future.
“BRT Industrial is well respected in the industry and is a perfect fit for our business. The ‘east meets west’ combination will give us a presence in every part of the UK. We are already the only distributor which focuses solely on critical moving parts and the addition of Phillip and his team will firmly establish our position as the UK’s leading specialist supplier.
Antifriction is headquartered in Bristol with other depots in London, Swansea, Cwmbran, Dudley, Bolton, Ellesmere Port, Belfast, Stockton-on-Tees and Grangemouth. These will now be joined by BRT Industrial’s depots in Inverness, Edinburgh, Doncaster, Grimsby, Wisbech, Wickford, Slough, Southampton and Avonmouth.