Quercus Corporate Finance is delighted to announce the sale of MARCO to Canadian listed corporation, ATS Automation

The Quercus team, led by Adrian Dray and Neil Giles, advised the Board of MARCO Limited (“MARCO”) on the sale of the Company and its subsidiaries to ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (‘ATS Automation”), the Toronto Stock Exchange listed provider of innovative, custom designed, built, and installed manufacturing solutions.

Headquartered in Edenbridge, Kent with a manufacturing facility in Warminster, Wiltshire and a software development office in Leicester, MARCO specialises in the design, manufacture and commissioning of integrated, productivity improvement solutions primarily for the fresh produce and food industry. MARCO’s systems allow efficient measuring, monitoring and controlling of a client’s entire operation; improving operator efficiency and productivity through minimising overpack/giveaway and enhanced operator accountability, whilst at the same time reducing waste and providing full traceability throughout the whole production process.

Founded in 1985 by brothers Murray and Russel Hilborne, MARCO now employs around 70 staff across its three sites and has built an enviable portfolio of customers across a broad range of end-market segments.

ATS Automation uses its industry-leading knowledge and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems’ needs of multinational customers in industries such as life sciences, computer/electronics, energy, transportation and consumer products.  The Group employs approximately 4,400 people at 23 manufacturing facilities and over 50 offices across North America, Europe and Asia.

Bringing MARCO into the ATS Automation Group will further enhance ATS’s technology offering in the fresh produce, food and pharmaceuticals segments whilst also providing MARCO with access to ATS’s global network to drive additional revenue growth.

Other advisers to MARCO were Irwin Mitchell (Legals) and RJP (Tax).

Adrian Dray, Partner at Quercus said:

“In MARCO, Murray and Russel have developed a truly unique business, offering its customers an innovative integrated hardware and software solution delivering significant product quality and efficiency savings gains. The backing of ATS will enable Murray, Russel and the wider MARCO management to make a real step change, driving revenue growth in existing market segments whilst leveraging ATS’s skills to penetrate other adjacent markets.  I look forward to seeing the enlarged business prosper ”

Murray Hilborne, CEO and Co-founder of MARCO added:

“Russel and I are genuinely excited by the future potential for MARCO as part of the ATS Group.  This transaction is the culmination of a thorough process to find the best partner for MARCO that will enable us to fully capitalise on the significant opportunities available.  The quality of the advice and support from Quercus has been first class from start to finish and was a critical aspect in delivering a successful outcome”