A substantial investment by Sandvik AB of Sweden in Ballygawley-based Finlay BME, with assistance from Invest NI, will enable the Northern Ireland company to develop an innovative range of new products for markets worldwide over the next three years.

The new investment was announced by Leslie Ross, Managing Director of Invest NI’s Business International, Hubert Watson, Finlay BME Managing Director, and Duncan McGregor, Vice President - Marketing, Sandvik AB.

Sandvik will acquire a 40 per cent equity in Finlay BME, the company formed in December 2001 when Mr Watson acquired the business of Finlay Blockmaking Equipment Ltd in Ballygawley from Stephen Finlay.

This new partnership will enable Finlay BME to accelerate the development of a range of mobile crushing and screening machinery to market worldwide under the brand name ‘Fintec’.

Said Mr Ross: “This is an exceptionally important endorsement of Finlay BME by a ‘blue chip’ international corporation, the eighth largest in Sweden. Finlay will now be able to build on Sandvic’s global expertise in crushing by accessing their extensive R&D and marketing resources.

“Invest NI’s support for this project reflects our Principles for Business Support which seek to offer a customised business solution to help companies such as Finlays achieve sustainable growth, “ he added.

“Sandvik’s substantial investment in Finlay BME is also a very significant boost for Northern Ireland as they are an internationally respected engineering centre in the design and manufacture of quarrying machinery,” he added.

Commenting on the investment, Mr Watson said: “This strategic partnership enables us to extend our experience gained over 50 years in mobile blockmaking machinery into contracting and recycling applications which we have identified as offering significant potential for sustained growth in the global market.

“By combining our skills with Sandvik’s technical resources we aim to offer our customers a one-stop-solution to their crushing and recycling needs and thereby create competitive advantage for the company and the Fintec brand,” he added.

Mr McGregor said: “This investment is in line with our strategy of developing our business through partnerships with established businesses in growth sectors.

“We were impressed by Finlay BME’s track record and engineering capability in mobile plant which is becoming increasingly popular in the recycling and contractor market because it is regarded as being most cost-efficient for this market segment.”

Another important influence on Sandvik’s decision was Northern Ireland’s longstanding reputation in the design and development of screening equipment, Mr McGregor added.

“By investing in Finlay BME we will be gaining access to a source of highly skilled people with a wealth of experience in the development of heavy duty machinery that operators worldwide are using successfully in the most exacting conditions.”