Axiom purchases assets of FRH Technical Engineering

The assets of FRH Technical Engineering, a machining, rapid prototyping and tooling business based in Chichester have been purchased by Axiom Product Development, which plans to grow the company, expand the team and develop new markets.

Axiom will continue to design and manufacture complex tooling and patterns for the automotive, defence, aerospace and marine industries as well as designing and producing manufacturing aids and providing milling, turning and other finishing services. Axiom has already made some strategic staff appointments with Alan Rendle-Eames joining to head the team as managing director and shareholder.

Mr Rendle-Eames has over 17 years’ experience in the machine engineering sector and was most recently project manager leading a team of five designers at Formaplex, a specialist machining and composites company. Mr Rendle-Eames previously spent 14 years at FRH Technical Engineering and is therefore an ideal person to oversee the running of the business.

Luke Newman will also be joining the Axiom management team as technical director and shareholder. Mr Newman is a qualified toolmaker with over 10 years’ experience in the sector, most recently as technical sales manager at Formaplex where he specialised in growing the Formula One, motorsport, automotive, defence, aerospace and energy sector accounts.

precision engineer west sussex
tool maker west sussex

Axiom has been set up by Michael Last and Clive Johnson who are both experienced CEOs with complimentary backgrounds in finance, mergers & acquisitions, engineering and manufacturing. Mr Last was CEO at Formaplex from 2008-2017, a manufacturer of complex tooling and components, where he oversaw a period of successful growth and expansion. Mr Last has extensive experience across a broad range of technology led businesses in multiple industries. Clive Johnson, a mechanical engineer by training, has managed and grown a range of businesses from start-ups through to high-tech manufacturing businesses. Mr Johnson was CEO at Portsmouth-based Magma Structures, builders of what the company says is tallest composite Superyachts masts in the world.

FRH was founded in 1952 by Frank Hay as a hand pattern machine shop. The family business has passed through three generations with Mr Hay’s grandson, Adrian Hay running the business for the last 20 years. Axiom plan to re-energise the business, bring in new skills and develop new sectors and markets. Family connections will continue with Tom Hay, great-grandson of the founder, remaining as production director and shareholder of the new company. Tom Hay has been with the company for 7 years and is a qualified engineer.

Commenting on the news, Adrian Hay, managing director said: “After 20 years at the helm I am pleased to have secured a successful future for the staff and customers of FRH. The breadth of experience and skills of the new owners will be a great asset to the new business and will ensure the continuity of service to our existing customers.”

Michael Last and Clive Johnson added: “We are excited to have completed the purchase and have already made some key strategic appointments to expand the team and bring in new skills. We have put in place a hugely experienced team who have ambition to steadily grow the business and diversify into new markets.”

Group photo of the team at axiom