Skip to Main Content
Awards 2023
PAR Systems team Lillyhall

PAR Systems (UK) Limited set to thrive as management buy-out completed

John McGibbon, Managing Director of PAR Systems (UK) Limited, has completed a management buy-out (MBO) from its American parent company’s UK operations. PAR Systems (UK) Limited develops cutting-edge robotic systems, nuclear cranes and remote handling systems from its HQ in Lillyhall, Workington.

The MBO will enable the UK operation to respond more effectively to opportunities for growth, particularly in the nuclear decommissioning sector, building on existing contracts covering the Dounreay and Sellafield nuclear facilities.

“I am really pleased to have completed the acquisition of PAR Systems for the UK and European nuclear market,” says John. “The MBO gives us greater independence and flexibility as an SME, and provides a platform to unlock opportunities for future growth, not only with our existing customer base, but also in new markets. We retain very close links with PAR Systems LLC in the US, and look forward to working with them in the future. I can only thank them for providing me with the opportunity to take the business forward into exciting times.”

In the internal announcement of the deal, PAR Systems LLC Chief Executive Officer, Tom Pohlad, said: “We have settled upon an arrangement that allows the UK operations to continue using the PAR name, and we expect we will continue to collaborate on many things moving forward, including providing spare parts, design services and new systems or projects.”

“This agreement is a business decision that is mutually beneficial, and will allow our PAR UK business to continue growing. We wish John and the rest of the UK team the best of luck, and we look forward to partnering in new and dynamic ways moving forward.”

John McGibbon joined PAR Systems in Cumbria in 2015 as Business Development and Engineering Director. Since then, the organisation has grown from just four to 22 people and moved to a new base at Lillyhall. As well as broadening its offer into robotics, specialist refurbishment and mechanical/electrical design, it has also developed supply chain collaborations with a range of companies in the North West. These include major nuclear players like Atkins, Nuvia, Altrad and Jacobs and a number of Cumbria-based SMEs such as Createc, Numech and Delkia.

In the UK, PAR is keen to support its local supply chain and fellow Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC) members. As such, legal advice on the MBO has been provided by Michael Walby and Becky Brook of Burnetts in Carlisle, financial due diligence expertise has come from Chris McCourt and Darcie Rae of the Corporate Finance team at Armstrong Watson in Carlisle and business planning support has been provided by Peter Fleming Business Consultancy.

John is the current lead of the Nuclear Sector Group for BECBC and the Cluster’s Chairman, Ivan Baldwin commented on deal: “At BECBC, we talk about Cumbrian collaboration with global reach, and the MBO of PAR Systems is a perfect example of this.”

“The Sellafield decommissioning programme is iconic, attracting some of the biggest names in industry from around the world. With PAR, this bridgehead in the UK led to a major investment and establishment of its European centre of excellence, right here in West Cumbria. When you couple this with John’s visionary leadership and his strong values rooted in the community, we have seen the win-win and multiplier effect in our local economy.”

“Members of BECBC benefit greatly from John’s volunteer leadership of our Nuclear Group and I’m sure I speak for all when I wish John and PAR Systems Ltd all the very best into the future.”

The MBO deal has now been completed and the wider business responsibilities are currently transitioning to the UK-based organisation. Further information on PAR Systems is online at and there will be more UK-specific content in the weeks ahead.