The UK’s leading undercarriage and wear parts specialist Midland Steel Traders Ltd (MST) has recently been purchased by their Italian supplier and world leader in the after-market earth-moving machines components, USCO S.p.A.
MST were formed in 1963 in Walsall by Ken Whitehall and has grown to become the UK’s market leader in the distribution of high-quality undercarriage and ground engaging tools (GET). The family owned business now headquartered in Durham, includes three regional service workshops and two manufacturing and repair facilities for excavator and loader buckets with the company supplying some of the largest units ever manufactured from their Sunderland workshop.
The USCO Group is based in the Italian city of Modena and was started in 1989 by Massimo Galassini. Remaining to this day under his guidance and leadership, USCO has grown to be a dominant force in the design, manufacture and distribution of the highest quality undercarriage components, ground engaging tools, repair and wear parts throughout the world and now operates through four strategically located production centres in Italy, Spain, South Korea and China with regional distribution and service centres throughout Europe, North and South America, Africa, Middle East and Australia.
The already close working relationship between the two companies was extended in 2013 when MST became the sole Great Britain distributor of ITR undercarriage parts. The continued growth and prospering relationship between the two companies will see MST and its customers benefitting from the resources available through the USCO group.
While the deal will see the MST brand remain a dominant force throughout the UK construction and engineering sectors, the backing of the global USCO brand will enhance the already market leading availability and delivery of products to the end user. The deal will give USCO access to the engineering side of the MST business that holds an enviable reputation the World over for the manufacture of bespoke buckets and attachments for the earthmoving, dredging, quarrying and demolition sectors.
Wanting to build on the market leading presence of the MST brand, the management structure within the company will develop to reflect the change in ownership and will see Rory Whitehall become Managing Director with Nick Fagandini stepping up to join existing Director Alan Montgomery on the board. Industry stalwart, current owner and Managing Director of MST, John Whitehall will continue within the business as Group Consultant.
While a change of ownership may be taking place, the Massimo Galassini wants the MST name to remain in place. “On one side we will enjoy the massive backing from the global presence of USCO” Rory Whitehall explained “On the other, the current top management team will remain the same and will still possess the same drive and enthusiasm to deliver a quality and cost-effective product and service to our customers both old and new. The MST name and our family values will still remain throughout the business. It is a great step forward for us as we near our 50thanniversary and our customers to become part of the USCO global network”
Massimo Galassini said: “We are proud of the acquisition of MST, our historical U/C dealer in Great Britain. We are grateful to Paul and John for their great job and we welcome MST’s top management and employees. We are confident they will continue creating significant value for all the company stakeholders. We firmly believe that this transaction represents a further step in the development of our global footprint as well as in the consolidation of the USCO Group position as a recognized world-wide leader.