One of the region’s best know industrialists has passed away suddenly aged just 63.

David Groves - who turned around engineering group Hill & Smith and was involved in a number of key investments through Grove Industries - died on Saturday night at his Warwickshire home.

Mr Groves, whose reputation for turning around businesses with his associates attracted Lord Digby Jones to the company two years ago, was made an OBE for services to business in 2009, was a former president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and was the current High Sheriff of the West Midlands.

Mike Ward, current president of the Birmingham Chamber Group, said Mr Grove had made an immeasurable contribution to business in the West Midlands.

He said: “We have lost one of the true industrial heroes of the West Midlands. He led Hill & Smith to great success both in the UK and abroad and then saw success with many more businesses under the Grove Industries banner.”

A former winner of the Birmingham Post’s Dealmaker of the Year award, Mr Grove ran Hill & Smith for more than 10 years from the late 1990s during which time the company saw its share price rise from about 40p to 356p.

Last year he was also part of a consortium that acquired a business from Hampson Industries which led to a High Court battle where the consortium successfully argued that the Hampson management at the time had not disclosed key information prior to the acquisition.

*See Thursday’s Birmingham Post for a fulll tribute to David Groves