Williams Grand Prix Holdings plc has sold a majority equity stake in Williams Advanced Engineering to an independent private equity firm controlled by EMK Capital.
EMK will also invest funds directly into Williams Advanced Engineering to ‘support and accelerate its long-term growth, including the commercialisation of various technology opportunities’.
Williams will retain a significant minority interest in the WAE business, and the deal is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.
WAE has a particularly strong track record in the automotive industry, most notably with projects for Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus and Nissan.
Williams Grand Prix Holdings chief executive Mike 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 managing director Craig Wilson added: “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.
“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.”
EMK Capital managing partner Edmund Lazarus is an Oxford University graduate, former president of the Oxford Union and long-term friend of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove.
Lazarus said: “We are excited about partnering with WGPH and the WAE management team to support further growth in this exceptional engineering business which has achieved so much in such a short period of time.”