Many Europeans think the UK is worth investing in - so when will we?
By Hamish Champ
Posted 26 June 2012
I’ve been saying for some time that it’s not all doom and gloom in the plastics industry and so I’d like to thank the nice people at Rosti Group for backing up my assessment with a significant acquisition.
In stumping up nearly £31m for McKechnie Engineered Plastics the Swedish-headquartered business has signalled its confidence in the UK manufacturing sector.
True, Rosti's owners, the Nordstjernan investment concern, is doubtless well funded. But still, the contrast with the story PRW carried a few months ago concerning the demise of Birkby’s Plastics could hardly be greater.
McKechnie’s new owners hope that by becoming part of the Rosti family its reach into hitherto untapped markets can be extended considerably.
It serves sectors Rosti already supplies into, but McKechnie’s reputation in the UK is first class and Rosti will be looking to exploit this and its expertise way beyond these shores in the coming years.
On the back of the recent opening of Faerch Plast’s thermoforming operation in Durham, the Rosti move suggests to me that perhaps our European neighbours are able to see in the UK those aspects of our economy which domestic businesses have trouble spotting.
Perhaps a few miles of North Sea allow overseas-based companies some perspective which potential investors in the UK are unable to summon up.
I realise it is not as simple as that; hard-nosed issues, such as constraints on getting hold of investment funds and the more ethereal (but no less-important) one of confidence in the domestic sector play their part in how UK-based companies decide to move forward.
But amid the newspaper stories about the Greek debt crisis, the crumbling euro and the imminent implosion of Life As We Know It™, it is great to see someone, somewhere, has enough faith in UK manufacturing capabilities to stick their hand in their pocket.
We should all take a bit of confidence from the Rosti move.
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