The iconic name of engineering giant Peter Brotherhood has been restored in Peterborough after the famous business was bought in a £10 million deal.
The assets of the 148-year-old Peterborough Brotherhood have just been acquired by AIM-listed Hayward Tyler, which has revived the age-old name as part of plans to re-energise the company.
They say that Peter Brotherhood has been unloved and been left under-invested for years under former owners.
Now new boss, Ewan Lloyd-Baker, chief executive of the 200-year-old, Luton-based engineering firm Hayward Tyler, has vowed to put its “mojo” back.
Hayward Tyler has bought the business from America-based Dresser-Rand, which axed the Peter Brotherhood name eight years ago.
Mr Lloyd-Baker said: “We think the business is a real gem.
We think the business is a real gem.Ewan Lloyd-Baker, chief executive
“Restoring the Peter Brotherhood name has already been given a brilliant reaction.
“There is a unanimous positive vibe on the shopfloor with people feeling this is the start of something exciting.”
The naming ceremony was held at its base in Papyrus Road, Werrington, watched by many of the workforce, when Mr Lloyd-Baker unveiled the new Peterborough Brotherhood nameplate which sits proudly above its huge factory doors.
He said the Peter Brotherhood name and its heritage of engineering excellence were key assets of the business.
Peter Brotherhood designs and manufactures specialist turbines and compressors used in power generationin marine and oil and gas markets globally with over 1,500 units operating in over 100 countries.
Mr Lloyd-Baker said: “Peter Brotherhood has been an integral part of Peterborough business and the UK’s engineering sector since 1867.
“Returning the business’s name above the door signals Hayward Tyler’s intention to re-energise and develop the business which last year had revenues of over £25 million and employs 145 staff.
“But I think the company has been unloved and under-invested for years.
He said: “I tried to buy it in 2007 and have been tracking the business for some time. When I first looked at it, the company had double the number of employees and three times the revenue. We will be trying to give the company its mojo back.
Mr Lloyd-Baker said: “We are committed to Peterborough. The city is inextricably linked to Peter Brotherhood.
“We didn’t spent £10 million to see it fail. I think we have found a real gem.
Mr Lloyd-Baker said: “The value of a well-established British engineering brand is not lost on us but may well have been be overlooked in America.
“We will be reminding people that Peter Brotherhood is back. While we will be building on its reliability and quality we will also be saying it is back suitable for the 21st century.
“Our first priority will be to secure the 145 jobs. I want to revive the apprenticeship scheme which has not been used for years and start a graduate recruitment scheme and invest in the product range.
The new owners say they may look to sell and lease back the 11.5 acre site currently owned by Peter Brotherhood.
Steve Bowyer, chief executive of the city’s regeneration company, Opportunity Peterborough, said: “We are delighted to see the return of a truly great British brand that is Peter Brotherhood to the city, as an integral part of our heritage.
“With 15 per cent of Peterborough’s working population employed in manufacturing, engineering and associated industries, this is a positive move, re-enforcing confidence and strength in the sector and reflecting the growth and investment in the city.”
Peter Brotherhood was one of 12 children born to Rowland Brotherhood, a contractor on the Great Western Railway and close associate of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
He opened his first factory in London in 1867, producing steam pumps and equipment for the brewery industry. The company moved to a 100-acre site in Walton, Peterborough, in 1906 and began making steam turbines.
During both world wars the company worked mainly for the Admiralty. By 1945 it employed more than 5,000 people (including 2,000 women) making large diesel engines for submarines, torpedo engines and tubes, steam turbines and compressors. Environmental concerns in the 1980s generated new work for the renewable/sustainable energy sector.
In 1994 the company sold its Walton site to Safeway Supermarket and moved to Papyrus Road, Werrington.
The purchase by Hayward Tyler is the third time the business has changed hands since the turn of the century.
It was bought by Dresser Rand in 2008 for £31 million after being acquired by a management buy-out team led by Stephen Fitzpatrick in 2003 from another US-based engineering firm.