Type: Buyout Capital

Total Originally Invested: £2.3 million

Initial Investment: March 2007

Sector: Industrials & Manufacturing

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Established in 1960, TFC is one of Europe's leading suppliers of technical fixing and fastening products to customers across a range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, hydraulics and petrochemicals. Headquartered in Heathfield, East Sussex, TFC has six technical and service centres across the UK and Germany providing 33,000 different fasteners and springs to its customer base, with an exclusive licence in the UK and Germany to supply the range of world class Smalley springs.

Company background

TFC supplies its injection moulded technical fasteners and ring and spring products to customers across a wide range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, hydraulics and petrochemicals. Aiming to be a single source one-stop supplier, it has a large selection of products ranging from 30,000 ‘off-the-shelf' products to bespoke solutions for specific applications. The main products are wave springs, spiral wound and moulded fasteners. Since the early 1990s, the company has operated a technical selling strategy, obtaining BSI approval for its quality management system and providing technical advice to its customers. Its engineers work closely with key suppliers to ensure a thorough understanding of product specifications and design. The Company's key strengths are its ability to deal with highly technical product applications and its design capabilities which are frequently used to minimise weight and materials use and hence costs in its products.

The Company has, since 1987, been an exclusive distributor in the UK (and since 1993 in Germany) for the privately-owned US manufacturer Smalley Steel Ring Company, a world leader in the manufacture and development of spiral retaining rings, snap rings and wave springs.

Foresight Investment

Foresight first invested in March 2007 to support the BIMBO of TFC led by Martin Clarke. At this stage of the Company's development it had two technical centres in Heathfield, East Sussex and Bochum, Germany. Following a series of small acquisitions and new site openings across the UK over the last 5 years, TFC has grown from £7 million turnover at the point of investment to £20 million today, expanding the strong management team appropriately.

Future strategy

TFC's key focuses over the coming years are to continue to expand its customer base in Germany supplying all types of technical fasteners and springs, possibly via further strategic acquisitions as well as organic growth from its existing technical service centre in Bochum and soon to be opened service centre in Southern Germany. In addition, TFC continues to enhance its product offering in the UK in line with customers' demands within certain industry sectors.