Firm says Fusion purchase will allow it to supply up to 1,250 apartment units a year

Housebuilder Hill has paid less than £1m to buy the assets of £11m turnover offsite manufacturer Fusion, in a deal completed after the business was put into liquidation.

The purchase will see the firm take on the Northampton factory and the majority of the staff of the light gauge steel frame fabricator, which will now be called Fusion Steel Framing Limited, in a deal which will enable Hill to supply up to 1,250 apartment units a year.

Andy Hill Hill Group

Hill chief executive Andy Hill (pictured) told Building’s sister title Housing Today the purchase will enable it to run a £30m offsite manufacturing business supplying both units for its own low-rise apartment blocks – of up to seven storeys – as well as for other developers.

Hill made the acquisition after the company running the Fusion factory, £11.3m turnover Salvesen Insulated Frames Ltd, got into financial difficulty in the wake of the covid crisis.

The firm said in its last published accounts, to May 31 2020, that “the impact of coronavirus has been very significant on the business”, and that “all of our key market areas have been affected”. It eventually appointed a voluntary liquidator this May, according to Companies House, with Hill buying the business afterwards following due diligence and a competitive sale process.

The Fusion system is a panelised system, which includes flooring options, which is assembled on site. Andy Hill said the technology would allow for significant time savings constructing apartment schemes, particularly in the current market, with long waits being experienced for delivery of pre-cast concrete floors.

“This year we’ve been waiting three to four weeks every time for pre-cast [concrete] floor, we lose a month per floor. It’s because of the manufacturing process, they always bump dates, it’s the same for everyone in the industry at the moment – it’s just so slow, you never get your dates, it just goes back, and you end up losing brick layers from sites quite often.

Hill’s purchase of Fusion supplements its existing ownership of another MMC business, Volumetric Modular, which produces temporary homes for the homeless as well as bathroom and utility pods.