Corporate finance specialists based in Birmingham have advised on the £13.5 million sale of a manufacturing operation to a Japanese buyer.

The Grant Thornton team advised Avingtrans on the sale of its industrial division comprising the Jena Tec Group of Companies to Kuroda Precision Industries of Japan, in its first European acquisition.

Jena Tec, which employs 178 people across manufacturing facilities in Nottingham, Germany and the USA, is a designer and manufacturer of high quality precision linear and rotary motion components supplying the machine tool, automation and medical industries principally throughout Europe and North America.

The deal will see Kuroda, which is headquartered in Kawasaki and listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, acquire 100 per cent of the shares of all Jena Tec companies from Aim-listed Avingtrans for £13.45 million.

The Birmingham corporate finance team of Grant Thornton was led by partner Ian Wilson, who said: “Grant Thornton has advised on three recent deals involving Japanese buyers. Our strong network in Japan led to the selection of a buyer which offers an excellent strategic fit for Jena Tec.”

Simon Clewlow, associate director at Grant Thornton, who also advised on the deal, added: “Our experience of working with Japanese acquirors helped to ensure a smooth transaction process.”

Kuroda has manufacturing facilities in Japan, China and Malaysia and is a designer and manufacturer of precision components and systems including ballscrews, press tools, gauges, tool holding systems, machine tools and measuring systems. Since 1925, Kuroda has served a wide range of industries including automotive, machine tool, semi-conductor, automation and electronics, principally throughout Asia.

The investment and acquisition of Jena Tec by Kuroda is a further positive step in the development of both brand names whereas each have a reputation for high quality products in their respective markets and where the synergies of both groups will allow significant growth to be achieved globally.

Operation of all Jena Tec group companies and respective appointed directors will continue as before.

Jena Tec divisional managing director, Paul Ward, said: “The investment by Kuroda in Jena Tec is warmly welcomed, as the positive elements that both companies can share when combined are significant and supports the expansion plans identified by both groups of companies.

“The commitment, interest and shared historical background of Kuroda and Jena Tec in producing high precision products in a competitive global market place will continue to benefit our customers, employees and shareholders and secure our successful continued growth in the future.”

Legal advice to Avingtrans was provided by Shakespeares, with the team headed up by Birmingham-based corporate partner Keith Spedding.