Wednesday, December 7, 2016

News: Assets of Rotherham engineering firm bought

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The assets of a Rotherham-based engineering firm have been acquired from the administrators who were called in following a global downturn in the oil and gas market.

Based at a custom built facility on the Gateway Industrial Estate at Parkgate, Whiteley Read has been associated with pressure vessels and the process industries since 1937. It manufactures vessels and columns in both ferrous and non ferrous materials up to 200 tonne in weight for many blue chip companies, such as BP, Centrica, Shell, Nexen & GDF.

Joanne Hammond and Gareth Rusling of Begbies Traynor were appointed as joint administrators of Whiteley Read Engineering Ltd on October 7 2016.

Now, Stainless Metalcraft, which is also a specialist in the fabrication of pressure vessels, has acquired the assets and said it will serve the market under the Whiteley Read name and use immediate contracts in place to fill the Rotherham factory.

The Chatteris-based business forms part of Avingtrans PLC's Energy & Medical Division and manufactures pressure vessels, vacuum vessels and cryogenic vessels for safety critical applications across all sectors of industry including medical, research, big science, power generation, nuclear, oil & gas, petrochemical and water.

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Austen Adams, managing director of Avingtrans' energy and medical division, said: "While the oil and gas industry as a whole has been struggling in the wake of falling oil prices, Whiteley Read has an excellent reputation for the quality of its components and the business' experience and capabilities strongly complement our own.

"The assets bring much needed additional capacity to meet our future growth plans.

"We have immediate contracts in place to fill the factory with overspill from existing operations, and real potential to develop additional business in both current and new markets.

"We will continue serve the market under the Whiteley Read name and I'm excited by the prospect of working to drive the company into better times."

Whiteley Read Engineering Ltd was created in 2001 to acquire the business and assets through an MBO after the previous operations went into administrative receivership.

A statement from Begbies Traynor showed that the company traded successfully until 2013/14 when the downturn in the oil and gas market led to turnover reducing by 40%. Despite diversifying into other markets, the company posted losses in 13/14 and 14/15.

The business was discreetly marketed for sale but a deal was not concluded and a strategic review concluded that, without a significant cashflow injection, the business was no longer viable. 12 staff were made redundant in August this year.

With administrators brought in, Eddisons marketed the businesses assets as a going concern and a pre-pack deal was preferred but could not be concluded.

Whiteley Read continued to trade as an asset deal remained possible but a further 11 staff members have been made redundant since October. An auction was scheduled for later this month before Stainless Metalcraft acquired the assets.

Whiteley Read website
Stainless Metalcraft website

Images: Whiteley Read


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