RENISHAW, the engineer regarded as a throw-back to a golden age of British manufacturing, was today put up for sale by its two octogenarian founders.
Sir David McMurtry, the executive chairman of and John Deer, the deputy chairman, said:"We are both grateful for our continued good health, however we recognise that neither of us is getting any younger. Now finding ourselves in our 80s, our thoughts have increasingly turned to considering the future of our shareholdings in the Company.”
The shares leapt 770p to 6570p on the news, valuing the business at £4.8 billion and the founders 53% stake at £2.5 billion.
The pair founded the firm in 1973 in Gloucester’s Wotton-under-Edge, once described as like something out of a PG Wodehouse novel. They had met at Rolls Royce.
Renishaw was famed for eschewing City orthodoxy, keeping debts low and ignoring the notion that British industry could not compete with China.
Among many products, it makes measuring probes, magnetic encoders and robots for brain surgery.
UBS has been retained to find what the pair call “the right owner for the business”, one that respects “our commitment to research and development, and the loyalty of our staff, our suppliers, and the customers we serve”.
There are no talks yet underway on a deal.