GKN’s head of powder metallurgy, John Spruell, is to leave the company at the end of the year to run his own business.
Spruell has headed a $130m (£81m) management buyout of the Deloro Stellite business of US firm Thermadyne. He was sidelined within GKN following the acquisition of US firm Sinter Metals in May.
Spruell said he decided to leave because Joe Carreras, the head of Sinter, took over GKN’s entire powder metallurgy business – and effectively his role – when GKN became Sinter’s parent. Sinter was larger than GKN’s original powder metallurgy business.
‘I wanted the same freedom to increase the business,’ said Spruell. ‘Being a small fish in a large pool wasn’t very attractive.’
The deal is backed by banker Morgan Grenfell and the company will be headed by Spruell who will be based in Swindon.
Deloro Stellite employs 700 staff at factories in Swindon, Wiltshire, the US, Germany and China. It specialises in wear-resistant surfaces and automotive components.
The US-based Sinter concentrates on complete components made from pressed powder. Spruell said he wanted to improve manufacturing operations.