Home > News & Events > August 2007 > News Article

Blacksmith sees Large Rise in Turnover

Published: 14th August 2007

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Mary Broadhead of South Yorkshire Investment Fund, Claire Davis from Grant Thornton, Martin Burnham Chairman of Independent Forgings and Alloys and Craig Syson, Finance Director, at Independent Forgings and Alloys.

One of the world’s largest blacksmiths has seen turnover grow by seven times in just six years, half of which comes from exporting to more than 30 countries.

Independent Forgings and Alloys (IFA) Ltd on Livesey Street, Sheffield, recently purchased a £2million forging line in order to meet demand and continue the company’s rapid growth.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) assisted IFA with its ‘Forge 2’ project with a £500,000 loan to the company.

Earlier this year Industry and the Regions Minister, Margaret Hodge, officially opened the new forging facilities, which was the first fully integrated forge to be built in the UK for 25 years.

IFA specialises in open die forging, ring manufacture and precision forged bars, supplying the aerospace, oil and gas industries all over the world.

The company has enjoyed impressive growth year on year since it was formed in 2001, seeing turnover rise from £2.7m to £20m and the workforce growing from 30 to 130.

Martin Burnham, Chairman and CEO at Independent Forgings and Alloys, said: "The funding from South Yorkshire Investment Fund has been crucial to the continued expansion of the company. It has supported us since day one with a number of investments in the business."

"The latest investment has provided significant capital expenditure and working capital for the Forge 2 project and further major investment on additional building and heavy forge furnacing has now been approved.  This will enable the company to significantly increase its productivity over the next three years."

Mary Broadhead, Investment Director at South Yorkshire Investment Fund, said: "The annual growth seen at IFA has been phenomenal. The company has invested in its manufacturing capacity largely driven by demand from its existing customers."

"IFA is also now putting into place provision to expand its specialist tooling and machine components. The company continues to prove that industry and manufacturing is as strong in Sheffield as it’s ever been."

IFA was advised by Grant Thornton UK LLP Sheffield office who have been the company's auditors and corporate finance advisors since incorporation in 2001.

Claire Davis, Corporate Finance Manager at Grant Thornton, said: "IFA is one of the city's success stories which has achieved rapid growth over the past six years due to a dedicated management team, a high level of capital expenditure and significant growth in the aerospace and oil and gas industries.

"This high level of growth is expected to continue and we look forward to working with the team in the future."

GE Commercial Finance has also been a significant funding partner in the business, providing primary financial support by way of an extensive asset based lending facility, plus unsecured loans and continues, along with Barclays, to support IFA's growth plans.

Simon Wells, director at GE Commercial Finance, Business Finance, added: "As we’ve worked with Independent Forgings and Alloys Ltd since 2001, we knew that it was a well established business surviving and evolving in a competitive market."

"The management team is well-known and well-liked by the industry at large and we are positive that they will provide the new impetus that will help the company reach its future forecast sales growth."

South Yorkshire Investment Fund can provide 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.

For more information on how South Yorkshire Investment Fund can help your business please call 01709 386 377.

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).