Following a decline in business performance, First Engineering defaulted on its senior debt facilities and was taken over by its senior lenders in September 2009.
Anchorage identified the business through its Asian network and agreed to acquire the business in late 2011, ultimately leading to completion in June 2012.
First Engineering is a leading manufacturer of ultra-precision moulds and plastic components for high technology engineering applications.
The company was founded in 1979 in Singapore and offers an integrated suite of solutions including product design, tooling, production and assembly services predominantly for the consumer electronics, automotive and medical device industries.
Despite the stress placed on the business over an extended period, Anchorage recognised that the quality of the underlying business remained strong.
A large range of operational business improvement initiatives provided material upside, including a supply chain review, manufacturing review and implementation of LEAN processes.
Key aspects of the comprehensive business turnaround program included:
Development of a high-performance business development capability to grow sales
Focus on decreasing cost of quality in manufacturing and tooling
Implementation of a LEAN program and incorporation of LEAN philosophies in the company culture
Improved supply chain management
Optimisation of working capital
Over the term of its ownership, Anchorage oversaw investment in major capital programs aimed at improving the quality of the business including a specialised Technology and Tooling Centre in Shanghai, China, and a manufacturing facility in Chennai, India.
The turnaround initiatives outlined above have significantly improved the quality and stability of the business, evidenced by the change in business mix since acquisition (illustrated in the pie charts below).
Entry (FY2012) Total Revenue: US$127 million
Exit (FY2014) Total Revenue: US$128 million
Anchorage completed a successful sale of First Engineering to Sunningdale Tech Ltd in November 2014, just over two years after its initial investment.