More than a hundred jobs have been saved at a West Midlands automotive engineering group after it fell into administration last year.
Administrators from Duff & Phelps were appointed in May to the UK trading companies of Arlington Automotive Group which specialises in products such as bespoke thermostats for vehicles and the manufacture and assembly of engineered vehicle systems.
Now David Roberts, who was chairman of Arlington Industries until 2014, has acquired Coventry-based Arlington Engineered Systems through a new vehicle called Evtec Automotive.
The company specialises in manual assembly for the automotive sector including providing electrical, fluid and air, mechanical and aftermarket module assemblies.
Plans are now in place to restart operations which will save 110 jobs and create a further 50 as Evtec Automotive strives to grow turnover from £55 million to £70 million over the next three years.
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Mr Roberts, who will be the chairman of the new outfit, said he planned to retain the company’s base in Coventry where it works with clients such as Jaguar Land Rover and Ford.
He added that it would also provide employment opportunities for disabled people across the West Midlands.
His buyout mirrors a similar rescue deal last October when Warwickshire-based automotive supplier Ricor Global acquired the assets of Arlington Automotive’s North East division in Newton Aycliffe.
At the time of the administration, around 600 jobs were placed under threat across the group’s operations which also comprised sites in Birmingham, Manchester, Reading and Stourport.
Its plant in Derby had already commenced a closure process by the time Duff & Phelps were appointed.
Mr Roberts said: “Arlington Engineered Systems was a strong business but the immediate result of the coronavirus pandemic impacted the firm in a way no-one could have predicted.
“Now that production across the automotive sector has kicked back into gear, I believe there is still a strong future for the firm and, with the right leadership and financial support, I’m confident we can drive future growth.
“My immediate focus is to support the team and established customer relationships and I will then be looking to refocus the business by taking it back to its roots which includes providing more employment opportunities for disabled people across the region.”
Business advisory firm FRP secured the funding package from Breal Zeta Commercial Finance to enable Mr Roberts to carry out the undisclosed acquisition.
Director Andy Pickford said: “Not only is David an industrialist with a strong background in the automotive sector, he knows the business extremely well given his former role with Arlington Industries and is well-placed to drive forward the growth of the business.
“We’re thrilled to have secured a sizeable structured facility that gives David the financial backing he needs to kickstart his growth plans and their support is a sign of confidence in David and his team.”
Annabel Todd, business development director at Breal, added: “Under David’s leadership, we’re confident that Evtec Automotive has a strong future and it’s been a pleasure to provide the financial package that will not only support employment opportunities for people across the West Midlands but create a business that is truly focused on making a difference to its local community.”
Law firms Gateley and Thrings also advised on the deal.