A precision engineering company whose customers include an F1 team has been sold in a deal overseen by KBS Corporate.

A precision engineering company whose customers include a Formula 1 team has been sold in a deal overseen by KBS Corporate.

Plalite, based in Sittingbourne, Kent on a purpose-built 1,300 square metre site, was founded in 1968 and its core business is CNC machining to support the aerospace and motorsport industries.

The company’s work for clients in Formula 1 led to a glowing endorsement from the COO of one constructor, who said they had “built an unbreakable team spirit” thanks to the support of Plalite.

Darren Cordell and Tony Bess, directors of Plalite, instructed KBS to facilitate the sale of the business in preparation for their eventual retirement, and strong interest resulted in eight offers being made which were split between trade and investment acquirers.

The successful buyer was Stockholm-based Karnell Group which specialises in owning market-leading industrial technology companies, primarily in the Nordic region.

Karnell has acquired 92.5% of Plalite’s shares with an option for the remaining stake in 2026. The minority shareholders will stay active in the company post-sale, with Darren Cordell and Tony Bess remaining for a handover period.

“We look forward to developing Plalite through the new collaboration with Karnell,” said Darren and Tony. “They have shown a good understanding of our business and see the same potential as us. Karnell has solid experience in the field within the group that we believe we can learn from.”

Petter Moldenius, CEO of Karnell, added: “We are impressed by Plalite’s technical knowhow and robust customer relationships and are convinced there is great potential to continue growing with customers in selected segments who value Plalite’s qualities.”

In acquiring its 11th company, the UK represents a new venture for Karnell.

“In addition to the current focus on the Nordic markets, Karnell has analysed the opportunities for growth in the UK for some time and can conclude it has yielded results,” said Petter Moldenius.

“We are convinced our model, with a long-term ownership perspective and willingness to invest in our companies with a clear growth ambition, should be able to attract successful companies and entrepreneurs to join Karnell.

“The UK is an attractive market with great potential that opens a new channel for continued long-term growth for our group.”

Fabio Rambelli, KBS Corporate Associate Director who oversaw the transaction, envisages a bright future for Plalite.

“I’m very confident Plalite will continue to be a very successful company under the ownership of Karnell,” said Fabio.

“I’d like to thank Darren and Tony for their hard work during the process and for entrusting KBS with the sale of the business. It’s been a pleasure to work with all parties on this transaction.”

Specifically, Fabio praised the vendors’ solicitors Guvvy Sandhu and Harshita Samani (Mackrell), the buyers’ solicitors Graham Spalding and Kate Allen (Lodders) and Steve Brewer for his financial work on the transaction.


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