Case Study: Dyer Engineering


Dyer Engineering was established in 1977 by John Dyer and his son Paul who set up a small reputable engineering business making pipe fittings, mould tools and servicing the local mining industry. 

Fast forward 36 years to Graeme Parkins and Richard Bradley, part of the senior management team, undertook an MBO of Dyer Engineering in 2013, enabling the next generation of management to acquire a stake in the business they helped run following the decision by Paul Dyer to retire

Following a period of strong growth in the intervening years, Maven backed the business in 2019, bringing to the fore capital and strategic expertise to help drive growth and value creation. Since then the business has almost doubled its workforce and has grown revenue to £18 million.

Dyer is now the largest independent engineering business in County Durham specialising in the machining and fabrication of complex metalwork and components for the rail, marine, power, automotive and offshore sectors. 

In this video, Richard Bradley, Managing Director of Dyer, and Michael Vassallo, Investment Director at Maven, talk about their collaborative approach throughout the investment which has helped transition the business into a larger and more valuable entity. Building a strong and collaborative working relationship has helped Dyer achieve many of its growth objectives as well as providing a stable platform for driving the business forward to meet its next commercial milestones.



Richard Bradley: We are a manufacturer of metal fabricated products. These products go into multiple applications across the rail industry, defence, diesel engine manufacturers, marine. Basically, anywhere where steel is required in the final product. Myself and my business partner, Graham, we bought the business in 2013. The aim was always to grow. We didn't think we could fund that growth, especially in our game in, you know, in manufacturing, engineering, you have to keep investing in machinery in facilities, in people, it's a constant. This is a living, breathing entity with lots of people who depend on it for their livelihoods and therefore for their families, and there's a great responsibility that goes with that, and we wanted someone who was going to partner with us that understood that.

Michael Vassallo: Engineering is a core sector for Maven, in the North East of England, and what we look for businesses is those have a strong reputation, a good management team, and a well thought out strategy, and on first read, Dyer had all of these. We referenced the business, that all came out very positive, and when we met the team, we were very impressed.

Richard Bradley: The funding offer from Maven was really attractive to us in the sense that it was coming from a fund that really aligned with our values. You know, we wanted someone who was coming with us for the journey, so we had to find someone that really lined up with the ideals that we live by in business, and that's what we found with Maven.

Michael Vassallo: It's an excellent team. It's not just individuals, they were very collaboratively together. Beyond that, the customers that we spoke to held Dyer in very high regard, and we could see really good growth prospects with the customer base, and with our money, the business has been able to capitalise on that.

Richard Bradley: It’s helped us to bring in the right people. It's helped us to invest in the right kinds of machinery. It's helped us to invest in our facilities.

Michael Vassallo: So, with all of our investments, the approach is collaborative. So at the outset, we wanted to build strong rapport with the management team, and we want to help them as much as possible, and really it is a partnership.

Richard Bradley: We have a fantastic board observer. I think, you know, he does a great job, and what he brings to us is his network, is his understanding of what goes on in other businesses, and that just brings a different type of questioning, and if you think about that board environment, you know, why bother having anybody external sit on your board? Well, the reason behind that is purely you want someone to challenge you and ask you the right questions.

Michael Vassallo: We helped select a chairman, and over the several years now that we've been invested, we've worked in partnership to source a refinance of the business, to complete multiple funding rounds, and really add as much value as possible from the knowledge we've got from having a national portfolio of businesses, many of which are in engineering.

Richard Bradley: You know, we’re now a £15 million, soon to be £18 million business and employing soon to be, you know, nearly 200 people, that for me is success.

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