MML backs ATA Group

MML has continued the strong start to its 25th aniversary year with a €17.3m investment into Irish based ATA Group to fund the transatlantic acquisition of the US based SGS Tools’ Bur business.

Led by CEO Peter Cosgrove, the transaction creates the clear global leader in tungsten carbide bur production and positions the business for further international growth. MML will hold a 65% stake in the combined business alongside management and FL Partners.

ATA is a leading global producer of tungsten carbide rotary files, known as burs. Burs are a precision engineered consumable used to fabricate, polish and repair metalwork and are used across a broad range of industries including aerospace, marine, oil & gas, automotive and power generation.

Based in Cleveland, USA, SGS Tools Group produces tungsten carbide end milling tools and drills and is the #1 global producer of carbide burs. The acquisition of the SGS Bur business will position the enlarged ATA Group as the clear global market leader in bur production benefitting from operational synergies as well as complementary worldwide sales coverage. Following the disposal of its bur business, SGS Tools Group will focus on end milling tools and carbide drills.

Ian Wallis, Richard Mayers and Robert Devonshire led and executed the deal for MML with both Ian and Richard joining ATA Group’s board.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Cosgrove, who acquired ATA in 2008 with backing from FL Partners stated:

“We are delighted to receive private equity investment from MML, they rapidly grasped the value proposition of the SGS acquisition and with their experience of complex transatlantic acquisitions and pragmatic approach were well positioned to help us execute the transaction within demanding timeframes. With their ongoing support, together with that of FL Partners and our bankers AIB, I am confident we can continue to grow and develop the ATA Group.’’

Richard commented:

“We are delighted to back Peter and his team in such an exciting acquisition. The acquisition of SGS’s bur business gives ATA a clear market leading position, consolidating its international coverage across Europe and the US and increasing its presence into Asia. This is a typical MML style deal where we worked very closely with management to shape and deliver a complex international acquisition.”

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