Following eighteen years as a senior manager in the business Gary Macauley has acquired full ownership of Martyn Price effective on Monday. Carly Pearson has been appointed Sales Director.
Macauley told Fastener + Fixing Magazine that the prospect of acquiring the business opened up in May, on the back of a discussion about Martyn Price Fasteners’ fit in the wider portfolio of the previous owners. “They made it clear the business was not up for sale but said if I put a sensible offer on the table they would give it serious condition.”
Once in-principle terms had been agreed neither party wanted undue delay in case it became corrosive for the business. “The bank was positive and supportive. I admit there was a moment when I thought ‘how old am I – do I really want to do this?’ Then I thought, ‘Let’s be sensible about this. We’ve moved, we done a massive reorganisation. It’s all been done, it’s all settled in. If it eventually sells to someone else, they’re going to get the benefit of all our hard work. Carly and I spoke long and hard about it – her response was, ‘let’s go for it’. So we did!”
The move to new premises in Dudley last year was a crossroads in the business, as far as Macauley is concerned. “We had been operating from a massive unit and hadn’t realised initial ambitions to grow the business by acquisition. The last decade has been torrid for the fastener industry in the UK and now, of course, there is the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”
“Last year was a game of two halves for Martyn Price. The first half was tough, the second much better. The relocation presented one-off costs but the health of the underlying business was good. As far as our industry is concerned, there is still business out there, there are still opportunities out there. There’ll always be uncertainties in the market but we’re small enough to be able to react, big enough to play a significant part.”
Gary Macauley took the phone call from the lawyers on Monday afternoon. The first priority, of course, was to tell the people in the business. “We’d had the move last year and it was great that we didn’t lose anyone as a result. We kept a strong team together. I did have a concern that this might another change too quick but the response from everyone was ‘great, fantastic – let’s get on with it. Then came the response from the marketplace – a lot of emails and phone calls of really positive support and good wishes.”
“There’s no magic plan” for the business, says Macauley. “It’s about focusing on our strengths and delivering a sustainable business. We’ll keep on making small but positive steps forward.”
Having held senior management roles in leading automotive and fastener businesses, Phil joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine as editor in 2002. Convinced there is no substitute for ‘being there’, over 15 years of visits and interviews around the world means he has accumulated an extraordinary knowledge and perspective of the global fastener industry, reflected in his incisive and thought provoking reporting.