UK based motorsport and automotive technology group, Prodrive, has acquired Tickford, the British automotive engineering specialist based in Milton Keynes, UK, to create one of world's largest independent vehicle technology businesses.
The new £100 million company, with bases in the UK, USA and Australia, will target the growing global demand for specialist outsourced automotive technology, a market valued at nearly £3 billion a year.
"We have been looking at potential acquisitions in both the motorsport and automotive industries for the last 18 months, but none were as good a fit as Tickford," said Prodrive chairman, David Richards.
"This acquisition has immediately elevated Prodrive into one of the major players in the automotive technology sector and puts us a step closer to our intended stock market flotation within the next two to three years."
Tickford specialises in engine development and testing, alternative fuels and the design and manufacture of limited-edition performance vehicles for major vehicle manufacturers. Its global operations will become part of Prodrive's growing Automotive Technology division, which already works with vehicle manufacturers across the world.
The acquisition includes Tickford's share in three joint ventures in the USA and Australia, giving Prodrive even greater access to the important North American and Asia-Pacific car markets. Tickford Vehicle Engineering in Australia is a joint venture with Ford, while in the US, Tickford Engelhard specialises in catalyst technology and Tickford Badillo in engine calibration.
The new group will have a combined turnover of more than £100 million and a workforce of nearly 900. Nick Fry has been appointed as the new group managing director of Prodrive. He joined the company in January of this year to head up the Automotive Technology division. He was previously a senior director at Ford and managing director of Aston Martin.