Williams Grand Prix Holdings have sold off the majority shareholding of their Advanced Engineering company to a private equity firm.
The Williams Grand Prix Holdings company, which is the parent of the Williams Grand Prix Engineering company that operates the Formula 1 team, has sold off its majority shareholding of their Advanced Engineering company.
The sale is expected to be formalised in the next few weeks, and will see a majority equity stake transferred from WAE to EMK Capital LLP. They are a UK based private equity company.
The Williams Advanced Engineering company has existed since 2011, and applies engineering solutions to various industries such as motoring and motorsport, aerospace, marine, healthcare and defence. In 2018, they worked with brands such as Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus and Nissan.They’ve been responsible for providing batteries and powertrains to Formula E in recent years, as well as powering the world speed record-breaking electric boat for Jaguar Vector Racing.
The details of the new ownership structure is yet to be revealed, but current directors of WAE are Mike O’Driscoll, Douglas Lafferty and Mark Biddle. O’Driscoll is also named as a current director of the Grand Prix team and the Williams parent company, as is Douglas Lafferty.
The 2018 financial statements submitted by the company to UK authorities showed they made a loss of £560,000 after tax, a significant increase on the post-tax loss of 2017 of £283,000.
According to the same statements, WAE make use of facilities within the Williams umbrella that incurs a levy as a result. WAE say that, without these levies, their 2018 operating profit would have been £4.5 million pound.
Speaking about the decision to sell the majority of shares to EMK Capital, O’Driscoll said: “We have rapidly grown WAE from an embryonic one client start-up, to a business with many clients in multiple sectors. The time is now right to sell a majority stake to enable WAE to further scale and develop its technologies. EMK Capital have a proven track record of success which will enable WAE to take advantage of these emerging opportunities and realise its full potential.”
“Williams Advanced Engineering has developed a strong reputation for providing energy-efficient advanced performance solutions to a diverse range of sectors and blue-chip clients.” said Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering.
“This expertise and our technologies in areas such as electrification, lightweight structures, aerodynamics and precision manufacture will become even more relevant and in-demand globally going forward. This new ownership structure will enable WAE to take advantage of these emerging opportunities and comes at a pivotal moment allowing us to further invest in new areas of capability and technologies in order to realise the full potential of the business.”