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Case Study: Metro Technologies

Published: July 2004

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From left Investment Manager John Sarrington, Julie Kenny, Managing Director of Pyronix, and from Metro Technologies Managing Director Craig Jones and Sales and Marketing Director David Cotton

What does the Company do?

Metro Technologies Ltd produces and supplies a range of highly technical components for global electronics manufacturers and is also in the process of developing new products. It exports its products to China, Taiwan, Thailand, Europe, USA and Mexico

Incorporated in 1998 the company relocated to the South Yorkshire region in 2002 to take advantage of the support offered to business by organisations like the Fund and to benefit from the indigenous engineering and metallurgy skill base.

Why we invested £50,000

In the 1990’s the electronics industry invested huge sums on new factories and surface mount equipment in order to manufacture products such as mobile phones for the US and European markets. Increased competition resulted in a drive for greater efficiency and productivity and a key component in this drive is the nozzles for the surface mounting machines.

Worldwide there are some 1000 producers of SMT (Surface mounted technology) machines but Metro Technologies manufacture nozzles for 6; Siemans, Fuji, Panasonic, Universal, Camalot and Philips. Together these manufacturers cover about 75% of the total SMT machines. The potential market therefore is world wide and the value of nozzle usage for machines is estimated at £175 million per annum. As a result of completely re-engineering the product the company now sells nozzles that are as good or better than other OEMs.

This huge potential market, combined with an established distribution network and brand meant that South Yorkshire Investment Fund were delighted to help, particularly as Metro Technologies continue to support manufacturers in South Yorkshire.

Specifically, the £50,000 loan was required for tooling and inspection equipment, a marketing campaign for new products and participation in an overseas trade show and for working capital.

Investment package provided

As well as the loan from SYIF, the company is on the European funded High Growth Start Up Programme and has also benefited from IFG2 the new scheme funded by the European Regional Development through Objective 1, and managed by Business Link South Yorkshire.

Progress to date

Progress is being made in developing the market and obtaining product acceptance from customers. Turnover is growing.

In late July 2004, the company moved its’ office from Buckinghamshire to Doncaster another sign of confidence in South Yorkshire.

View from the management

Craig Jones, Managing Director of Metro Technologies, said: "The SYIF secured loan has been a great help in easing our cash flow as we continue to develop and improve new products which is an important aspect of Metro’s ethic of high standards of production."

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).