100 jobs saved as Burnley firm is sold

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ONE hundred Burnley workers have been saved from the axe after their parent company was sold by administrators.

Metalrax Housewares Ltd, based in Elm Street, was part of the Birmingham-based Metalrax Group and its subsidiaries which have been split up after the engineering company revealed its working capital had “significantly” worsened and attempts to refinance the group had failed.

Metalrax Housewares, which operated from Progress Works in Elm Street, was sold to Cable Capital Partners, safeguarding its 100 Burnley employees as well as 15 at Great Ryburgh in Norfolk and 39 at Oldbury in the West Midlands.

It was not part of the insolvency process, although was sold as part of the transaction.

The Burnley workers produced George Wilkinson Bakeware at the factory in Elm Street.

Will Wright and Mark Orton from KPMG were appointed joint administrators to the AIM-listed group.

On appointment, the administrators sold the business and assets of the niche engineering group to a group of companies headed by Bowman Birmingham Limited.

The group will trade as Arc Specialist Engineering and is backed by specialist private investors who have committed to a significant investment programme in the company, the administrator said.

Metalrax Overseas Holdings Limited was also sold – to Arc Specialist Engineering – securing a total of 387 jobs from within the Group.

Mr Wright said: “The Group has experienced difficult trading conditions for some time, primarily within its consumer durables division.

“While the Group’s management team has divested in recent years to focus upon niche areas, trading in this division has led to a significant drain on the Group’s financial situation.

“Being able to sell the business and assets, together with shares in solvent businesses within the Group, has been a great solution to securing a future for the business and more importantly just under 400 jobs.”