Charter is to dispose of its specialist engineering arm to a management team backed by buy-out specialist Candover. The £194m deal is being led by Geoff Lodge, managing director of the three companies involved.
The businesses being sold are Pandrol, the rail track fastener maker, Swedish environmental equipment supplier Nederman, and UK Aerospace and Defence, which manufactures aviation and military enviromental control components.
The three companies employ 1,800 staff worldwide. Combined 1998 sales amounted to £177.9m, generating pre-tax profits of £27.1m.
Charter’s two core businesses, welding and cutting equipment manufacturer Esab and air and gas handling company Howden, have also been experiencing difficult trading conditions.