PREA Ltd: A One-Stop Shop Consultancy

PREA is a one-stop consultancy for the polymer industry operating globally in plastics, composites, rubbers, adhesives, polyurethanes and textiles. The company is based in the UK with global offices, and in this article, PREA’s CEO Pravin Mistry talks us through a record-breaking year.

Once again, PREA has had a record-breaking year, going from strength to strength in all areas of polymer consultancy. Our USP is our wide experience, having started in the polymer industry with the aforementioned materials and processes, compounding, injection moulding, coating pultrusion etc…. and working with a huge variety of companies, from small companies in multiple roles to global corporates, Prea and the team are well placed to undertake projects regardless of size.

Prea offers the following services:

Management Consultancy

  • Buying and Selling Companies / Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Restructuring companies
  • Preparing companies prior to sale
  • Chair roles- part-time and full-time
  • Growth strategy

What’s been happening?

Since the initial lockdown in 2020, the Prea management consultancy team have been busy. With hardly any money being spent during the lockdown and the uncertainty of investment by companies/investors, there was a large number of funds available later on. There is still an appetite for acquiring companies nationally and globally. The demand in order and what we have requirements for nationally and globally are thermoplastics compounders, injection moulders, composite manufacturers, rubber moulders, and polyurethane companies.

The multiples were up to 7 times EBITDA at the peak. Back in January 2022, we stated that inflation would rise up to 10%. Interest rates would rise to cool inflation. We never anticipated the Ukraine / Russian conflict. We are seeing more companies globally looking to sell.

However, with the challenging environment globally, we are seeing multiple prices, ie sale prices of companies coming down. It will possibly come back to 2 or 3 times EBITDA. We find that we are talking ourselves into a recession nationally and globally, yes there are going to be challenges and another 5 months of challenges, and if the status quo applies, we will turn the corner for the better.

In addition, the number of companies we have had to restructure has also increased this year.

Recruitment

  • Permanent and Interim
  • CEO, MD, Directors, Managers, Sales, Commercial, Technical, Quality, HSE, Operations

What is happening in recruitment?

Recruitment has been at an all-time high. Again because we speak the same language and work in the industry, employers like speaking to us as we narrow the search time down and find the right candidate for the role since we have a continuous pipeline of candidates.

Since COVID, many people in the mid 50’s plus learned to live on less money. Mortgages paid off in some cases, realised they wanted the quality of life, cashed in on their pensions and retired early. This caused a severe deficit in the skill sets available in the labour market.  Yes, this has happened within other sectors, not just the polymer industry.  Since in the UK we have not invested in training and attracting new talent in the market to the levels we should have historically, we are paying the price now.

Again within Prea the recruitment team have been in demand globally, filling in roles from interim MDs, to technical and quality roles, both permanent and interim. More and more of our consultants are in demand for interim assignments partly due to the shortage of labour and partly due to companies wanting to reduce headcount due to current market conditions.

However, the market is changing. We are seeing small signs globally of retirees coming back into the industry as inflation, and an increasing cost of living is forcing people to go back to work.

Polymer Technical Consultancy

  • Formulations, Processing
  • Injection Moulding. Extrusion, Coatings
  • Reshoring work back into UK / Europe and North America

Again due to the lack of skill set available in the labour and most countries in UK, Europe and North America increasing reshoring activities- mainly bringing work from China –  our technical consultancy has had a busy year. Covid has taught us that we need our supply chains to be closer to home, and with container prices increasing and shipping costs increasing, and increasing concerns around reducing carbon footprints and quality, this has been a big catalyst in reshoring.

We are starting to see some raw material prices going down. However, energy prices seem to be challenging and again, since companies are trying to balance the finances, employing our consultants on a part-time or temporary basis seems to be a good option – and again this has led to our technical consultancy team being in demand.

The rumour and question everyone is asking is: if China annexes Taiwan – how will that affect my supply chain? Now there is a challenge – is this a reason why we are seeing an increase in reshoring?

Buying & Selling Machinery

  • We buy and sell machines globally, including total plants

In the second quarter of this year we decided to start a new team focused on buying and selling used polymer machinery, be it injection moulders, extruders, rubber, compounding, pultrusion machines, coating machines and more. There was such a demand from our clients nationally and globally that it seemed natural to offer this service moving forward.

We attended Plastics live at Coventry in July and were asked to be moderators and chair the technical presentations, something that we have been asked to do in the past. It was good to be in the public eye again, meeting and interacting with people, at what was an enjoyable and productive event.

For Prea Ltd – our major event closing off 2022 will be exhibiting at K2022 Dusseldorf from the 19 – 26th of October, where we will be in Hall 5, stand A28. The new service that we will be offering at K will be to represent companies that cannot attend.

In a nutshell, we have had a very busy and productive year so far, and things do not seem to be slowing down for us any time soon.

Please feel free to contact Prea in confidence without any obligations for any projects. We have confidentiality agreements in place to protect all parties. We look forward to hearing from you, using the contact details below.

 

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PREA
0161 207 8007
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