Specialist metals firm appoints Grant Thornton administrators

11 June 2019 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

Grant Thornton has been appointed to oversee the administration of specialist metal producer Metalysis. The company had recently been heralded by the UK’s Business and Industry Minister as emblematic “the strength and potential of the North”, but collapsed due to liquidity issues at the start of this month.

Toward the end of 2018, Rotherham-headquartered Metalysis appeared to be riding high. Having secured £12 million in funding, the specialist metals company had recently scaled up to commercial operation and become able to offer industrial scale production of powder alloys for international aerospace, automotive, additive and advanced manufacturing applications. Having signed up as a member of Northern Powerhouse Partners Programme, the firm even hosted a delegation led by Business and Industry Minister Richard Harrington.

Harrington – who has since resigned in a bid to avert a No Deal Brexit – said at the time, “From a Cambridge University breakthrough to a growing commercial operation that is supporting production on an international scale, Metalysis is a prime example of the strength and economic potential of the North.”

Specialist metals firm appoints Grant Thornton administrators

Just half a year later, however, Metalysis is urgently seeking a buyer, having appointed administrators. A statement from the Directors claimed that as a result of urgent liquidity issues there was no alternative. Eddie Williams and Chris Petts of Grant Thornton will now look for a “credible interested party” to invest in the firm. 60 employees now face an anxious wait, with jobs on the line at Metalysis’ two sites in South Yorkshire.

Williams, an Advisory Partner at Grant Thornton, said, "Metalysis is a truly innovative UK business with a unique disruptive technology that urgently requires new ownership and further on-going investment. Despite the directors' best efforts and significant global interest, the business could not continue to operate without the protection of administration.”

Over the past decade, Metalysis has developed technology in the area of advanced metallic powder production. Headquartered at Rotherham’s Advanced Manufacturing Park, the company honed a proprietary electrochemical process, allowing the production of metal powder consumables ideally suited to light weighting applications in sectors such as aerospace, automotive and in the production of electric vehicle batteries.

In an increasingly difficult environment for manufacturers, the news comes just weeks after major UK metal producer British Steel was forced to install administrators from EY. According to Reuters, signs of a ripple effect from British Steel’s collapse are already beginning to emerge. Hargreaves Services, a company based in Durham – which supplies materials handling and other services – expects its profit before tax in the next full year to fall by about £1.3 million, thanks to the collapse.