A Black Country tool steel company has been sold in a multi-million pound management buyout.
Managing director Andrew Eastwood and operations director Julie Shields led the purchase of Tipton based Carrs Tool Steels.
Both have worked in the business for more than 20 years.
The firm, which employs 30 staff, supplies customers, mostly machine tool manufacturers, with tool steel and aluminium and a range of cutting and machining services.
The business, which can trace its history back to 1902, has experienced strong growth in recent years following the resurgence of the UK manufacturing sector and investment in new processing facilities.
The business was previously acquired by shareholders via a MBO in 1992.
Bill Church, the outgoing chairman of Carrs, said: “This represents a natural conclusion to a succession plan we instituted in 2009.
“The business under the management of Andrew and Julie has continued to go from strength to strength and we are delighted to hand over the reins to them.”
Mr Eastwood said: “The demands placed on production tooling have risen dramatically in recent years with the introduction of new materials such as high strength, low alloy automotive steel and new, more demanding production processes.
“We see a strong future for Carrs.”
The deal was overseen by Andy Kay, corporate finance director at the Midlands office of national audit, tax and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill, and David Neate, partner at Springboard Corporate Finance.
Mr Neate added: “Despite the difficult economic climate Carrs has flourished, innovating to provide value added service to its customers.
“This strategy has enabled the business to cut a niche in a traditional marketplace.
“The sale to management reflects just rewards for their input in delivering this strategy.”
The transaction was financed by Barclays through relationship director Mark Attwood.
Nick Taylor and Richard Griffiths, of Higgs & Sons, provided legal advice to the MBO team.
The shareholders of Carrs were advised by Harrison Clark Rickerbys, led by Alison Scott.