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Adm Deal Prevents Closure and Saves 67 Jobs

27th Mar 2009

The management team at Widney Pressings Limited has affected a significant management buyout deal that will save 67 jobs and rescue a historic North East manufacturing firm from closure, thanks to fast collaborative action from regional development agency One North East, Muckle LLP, Tait Walker Corporate Finance and Barclays Commercial Bank.

The deal which led to the successful buyout was financed by a £90,000 Grant for Business Investment (GBI) from One North East and additional funding,  from Barclays Bank.

Widney Pressings Limited of Newcastle, was placed into administration on Thursday, 12 March following the deterioration of the automotive and construction markets it served and in light of the declining fortunes of its former group. However the core business was identified as being highly viable and the management team of Andy Wingfield, David Horn and Mark Thornton formed a new company, ADM Pressings Limited, to acquire the business and safeguard the jobs.

The original company was formed out of Vickers Engineering and originated from the Vickers tool shop established in 1956. The company was subsequently owned by Rolls Royce and prior to the economic downturn had an average annual turnover of £14million. The Newcastle company has been successfully serving the automotive sector in both original equipment and aftermarket services delivering its extensive product range to the likes of Unipart (Jaguar), Land Rover, GKN, Bentley, JCB and Caterpillar.

Andy Wingfield, managing director of ADM Pressings Limited, said: "Widney Pressings was a highly successful enterprise but key sectors of the company's business were severely affected by the economic downturn. Some of Widney's sister companies were hit much harder than we were but Pressings was identified as potentially having significant future viability based on supplying aftermarket and OE products to the automotive and construction industries.

"The collaborative support that ADM received from One North East, Barclays Commercial Bank, Muckle and Tait Walker was crucial and ensured a viable business was saved and prevented from suffering a catastrophic collapse.

"The management group had initial discussions with One North East and Business Link and we were able to put in place a strategy to save the business. The agencies involved recognised the situation which required immediate intervention and reacted quickly and effectively to the challenges faced.

"It was recommended to us that we would require third party advice and enlisted the support of Tait Walker and Muckle LLP. This was essential and Tait Walker oversaw the business plan and funding sources whilst Muckle advised on the set up of ADM Pressings Limited and the acquisition of the business from the administrators.

"The input from Tait Walker and Muckle really drove the process forward and ensured that the deal was completed as quickly as possible. The collaborative effort that One North East, Tait Walker, Muckle and Barclays Commercial gave was first class and has restored my faith in business support services and the banking system."

The teams involved worked solidly for over a week to successfully finalise an important deal for manufacturing and the automotive industry in the North East yesterday.

Steve Plaskitt, of Tait Walker, said: ‘We are delighted that Andy and the team were able to complete the job and secure 67 jobs for the company. Also, we must give a big thank you to One North East for the grant and loan funding they helped support the transaction with’.

Craig Swinhoe who led a team of 5 lawyers at Muckle LLP, said: "We are delighted to have played an important role in a securing the future of a historic North East manufacturer as well as supporting an excellent management team."

"Muckle has been involved in a number of similar high profile deals including the acquisition from administration of The Officers Club and the acquisition out of administrative receivership of Villa Soft Drinks.  This demonstrates Muckle's track record at creating and delivering restructuring and acquisition opportunities arising in the current economic climate."

Barclays Commercial Bank provided a significant level of funding to facilitate the transaction.

Peter Kirkpatrick who led on the deal for Barclays Bank, said: "Assisting ADM in this deal demonstrates Barclays' continued commitment to the manufacturing industry in the North East and to help secure the future of the company and the jobs of their employees is absolutely fantastic. By working closely and really understanding the business, Barclays, along with all of the other parties involved has been able to support the company financially and professionally throughout the transaction."

Ian Williams, Director of Business and Industry at One North East, said: "Clearly, this is very positive news and acts as a testament to the coordinated business support that is available here in North East England by dedicated partners."

"To save 67 manufacturing jobs and ensure the future of a long-standing company with a strong, respected presence in the region is a significant achievement for all parties involved."

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