Indian-origin tycoon Sanjeev Gupta has expanded his Liberty House metals business empire on Sunday with the acquisition of a Scottish bicycle firm.
The UK-based entrepreneur plans to rejuvenate bicycle manufacturing in Britain with the acquisition of Shand Cycles UK, an ambition he has harboured since he began his working life selling bicycles for his father's Indian cycle manufacturing business Victor.
Shand Cycles UK joins the stable of Liberty's Trillion operation based in the Midlands region of England.
"We're very excited to welcome Shand into the Liberty family of companies. We recognise the skill and quality they bring to bike production and feel they will work very well with the Trillion team and engineers and designers in our vehicle technologies division at Leamington Spa," said Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty.
He feels his latest acquisition is part of Liberty's aim to develop a solid base upon which to build a significant bike manufacturing business, offering "high quality and attractive machines".
"We're also pleased to expand further our investment in the Scottish economy where we already have major energy generation and metal manufacturing operations. Job numbers are small at present but were investing for growth and there will be many more, further down the line," he said.
Shand, which was established in 2003, is an independent manufacturer fabricating hand-built custom and production bikes.
Liberty, part of the GFG Alliance, intends that Shands range of road and adventure touring bikes will complement Trillions offering of high-specification mountain bikes.
Each will retain its brand identity within the newly- created Liberty Cycles division.
Steven Shand, founder of Shand Cycles, who will continue to lead the company, said: "This is an exciting new phase in the development of the business. Together as part of the Liberty Group I believe Trillion and ourselves can do some ground-breaking things in the cycle market. The link up also allows us to develop some very valuable extra manufacturing capacity."
Russell Cashmore, product & customer service manager of Trillion, said: "We have an awful lot of engineering expertise at our finger tips through being part of Liberty Vehicle Technologies who, among other things, supply braking systems and mechatronics to Formula 1.
"Combining that with the knowledge of the team at Shand is a great prospect. Were keen to use this combination to do something unique in the market. Our overall goal is to help further encourage the revival of frame production in this country."
According to Liberty, the development of new manufacturing businesses, linked to its metal processing and engineering enterprises, is an important part of company strategy to integrate its range of activities in order to make them more viable and sustainable.
The expansion of bike manufacture within the Liberty Group also represents the revival of part of the Groups heritage.
Liberty owns Accles & Pollock in Oldbury, West Midlands, that began making steel tubes for bicycle frames over 100 years ago.
Rattrays of Glasgow who were once a major volume bicycle producer, used A&P tubing in their iconic 'Flying Scot' models back in the middle of the 20thcentury.
The GFG Alliance is a London-headquartered international group of businesses, founded and owned by the UK-based Gupta family.
It combines energy generation, metal manufacturing, engineering, natural resources and financialservices, working together to deliver a common business strategy.
The Alliance comprises Liberty House an integrated industrial and metals business SIMEC - a resources and infrastructure group - Wyelands a banking and financial services arm JAHAMA Estates a division that manages the Alliances global property holdings and GFG Foundation which focuses on the retention and creation of engineering and industrial skills.
The group has been behind a series of recent acquisitions in the steel industry across the world.