Charter to boost core

Gas handling and welding group Charter is to sell its engineering businesses following a strategic review, the company revealed last week. Chief executive Nigel Smith said the disposals would give the group the resources to expand its core air and gas handling operations. The engineering businesses, which specialise in the aerospace, defence and transport markets, […]

Gas handling and welding group Charter is to sell its engineering businesses following a strategic review, the company revealed last week.

Chief executive Nigel Smith said the disposals would give the group the resources to expand its core air and gas handling operations.

The engineering businesses, which specialise in the aerospace, defence and transport markets, are profitable but are not big enough to justify remaining a part of the group.

Analysts estimate the businesses could raise £250 300m, which would be used to reduce debt and fund expansion.

Smith admitted that the high level of debt had prevented the company’s shares obtaining a better rating. Debt at the end of the year was £357m, compared with £320m 12 months before.