First Engineering Limited
Initial investment date: June 2012
First Engineering designs, engineers and produces ultra high precision plastic component parts for business machines, hard disk drives, automobiles and medical devices. The business is headquarters in Singapore and has production facilities in Malaysia (Johor Bahru), China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Guangzhou) and India, with ~2,500 employees. First Engineering has strategic manufacturing qualifications in place, including ISO-13485 for medical devices in JB and ISO 16949 / VDA 6.3 audit approval for European automotive in Shanghai.
First Engineering was previously owned by its senior lenders after being taken over through a credit bid in September 2009. Anchorage identified the business through its Asian network, and agreed indicative terms in late 2011, including a period of exclusive due diligence, ultimately leading to completion in June 2012.
Despite the stress placed on the business over an extended period of time, the underlying quality of the business remained strong. Anchorage bought the business at a significant discount to net assets and commenced an operational turnaround with a focus on manufacturing best practise, efficiency improvement and redesigned business development process focused on expanding into attractive new markets.