Growth plans heat up following management buyout of Airflow

Gary Clark and Samantha Hancock-Ridge

Two employees from Sheffield-based Airflow World Group Limited, who have worked for the industrial oven manufacturer for a total of 35 years, have completed a management buyout.

Samantha Hancock-Ridge and Gary Clark have purchased the company from Nigel and Elaine Sharp.

Airflow has been trading from its 30,000 square foot modern manufacturing unit on Underhill Lane in Sheffield since 1985. The company designs, manufactures and installs bespoke industrial ovens, laboratory ovens, spray booths and controlled environment enclosures for the aerospace, pharmaceutical, composites, electronics, oil exploration and product finishing industries across the globe. Clients include Formula 1 teams and several blue-chip and Aim listed companies. Airflow employs a team of 28.

Gary said: “I started my career with Airflow as a sheet metal worker straight from school, 28 years ago! I worked my way up to become the operations director and have a huge pride in the business and everything it has achieved to date. Samantha has worked with our team for seven years, running the finance department. Dave Hyde will continue in his role as managing director.

“We provide a complete package that includes specification, design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning, and because we continually invest in the latest technology and have such knowledgeable and experienced teams, we have become the go-to supplier for many businesses throughout the UK and abroad.

“We manufacture a huge number of products in every size, type and temperature range, including a standard range that can be dispatched immediately as well as bespoke units that are made using our modular construction system. With a £2.7m turnover and loyal client base, we plan to continue growing the business.”

Samantha and Gary were advised by Hentons Corporate Finance, with Samantha Sellars and Matt Milnes providing combined legal and corporate finance services throughout the MBO process. The vendors were advised by Taylor and Emmet Solicitors.

Samantha Sellars said: “Both Samantha and Gary have the knowledge, experience and energy to expand the business even further, and it was a real pleasure to work with them as they take ownership of the business.”

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