Manufacturing Growth 50: An Interview Tony Bannan

Manufacturing Growth 50: An Interview with CEO Tony Bannan

Manufacturing Growth 50 is a featured publication in the August 2015 edition of North West Business Insider magazine. This publication provides a unique insight into how companies within the region are targeting and securing growth in their business. Innovation is a hot topic of discussion within the feature, focusing primarily on product improvement, funding, productivity and skills.

The MG50 explores turnover growth from a number of companies that are selected using data from Insider’s SME 300 and Top 500 research information. This provides an equal mix of some of the North West’s largest organisations and SMEs turning over less than £20m. Looking over the latest reported year, the publication aims to provide a snapshot of growth in the UK’s manufacturing sector.

PTG CEO Tony Bannan features in the publication and provides his thoughts on how the government should help take the sector to the next level. Mr Bannan spoke to Rupert Cornford (North West Business Insider) inside our Milnrow head office.


The article focuses primarily on CQME’s acquisition of PTG back in 2010 and the development of joint venture operations in China. Tony Bannan offered his thoughts on the acquisition:

“The Chinese corporations are looking for ways to upgrade their technology in an accelerated fashion. They decided to acquire a company to help them upgrade their existing factory and buying PTG probably gave them a ten-year leap forward in terms of understanding control systems, quality and precision.”


Quality & precision – gears and rotors from Holroyd Precision.

Cornford and Bannan also discussed the element of trust and associated risk behind the purchase; highlighting the due diligence processes the CEO had in place to familiarise PTG with the Chinese investors.

“It was not exactly a great position to be in. Luckily I was not rigid and was open to persuasion. There were two individuals that particularly had my confidence – the chairman and the executive director, who made me understand the advantages of the deal (…) it became obvious early on that they weren’t interested in stripping the business.”

Improvement in the Chinese Product Range

Despite the presumed risk, the partnership between the UK and China has proven to be a fruitful one. The skills and experience based in the UK has been used to improve the product range half way across the world. There has been no conflict with the machines manufactured in Rochdale as employee numbers have increased from 157 to 216 in three years. What’s more, the Chinese sister company is currently the largest supplier of gear-manufacturing machines in the world.

Bannan says most of the research and development work conducted by Holroyd Precision is on advanced machine tools, something that would not have been possible without support and funding from the Chinese company.

Bannan adds, “The thing we admire and respect most about the Chinese parent is that they often take a long term view on the business. For a technology company this is ideal as it brings several new growth opportunities.”


Holroyd Precision’s Zenith 400 Helical Grinding Machine

Every year here at PTG Holroyd we invest between 12-15% into research and development. Our business model is much different to most UK PLCs and private equity firms and although there is still the element of pressure, our investors are here for the long term. With 29% growth year end December 2013, PTG has enjoyed a steady year of development.

Holroyd Precision Ranked Ninth

PTG are extremely proud to be featured on the Manufacturing Growth 50 list this year and we are delighted about ranking as high as ninth on the list. Here are the top ten companies on the list this year, showing the percentage of growth in the last column.

ranking table

Partnerships Worldwide

Aside from developing advanced machine tools, the team here at PTG also help our Chinese sister company to develop new technology via partnerships with Brunel University, Huddersfield University and City University in London. In addition to this PTG has also formed Chongqing Holroyd Precision Rotor Manufacturing Co, a joint venture with Chongqing Machine Tool Group Co. This has been formed in order to manufacture compressor rotors for the Chinese market and already employs more than 25 individuals.

Call for a Manufacturing Minister

Mr Bannan also called for a ‘manufacturing minister’ in government, “whose life depended on getting joined up thinking and funds for the sector.” There currently isn’t a minister for the sector or any official body to bring together the countless organisations trying to push the industry forward. With over 300 trade bodies operating within the industry, this represents a lot of power that would surely develop further once united.

You can read more about this edition of North West Business Insider and purchase the magazine here.

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