Jobs saved as administrators agree deal for Midlands manufacturer

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 | ADMINISTRATION

Administrators of a historic, family-run Black Country metal manufacturer have struck a deal that will save 78 jobs and keep the business going.

H & E Knowles (Lye) was founded in the 1920s and has been run ever since by its founding family.

The firm, which manufactures products including wheelbarrows, greenhouses, storage units and incinerators, collapsed into administration at the end of November.

According to the Business Desk, administrators have agreed a deal that will see Peter and Daniel Knowles create another entity, HE Knowles (Manufacturing), in order to buy parts of the business and assets.

The deal means all 78 employees of the firm, which has sites in Quarry Bank and Cradley, in Dudley, will transfer over to the new business.

Daniel Knowles was quoted as saying: “We are deeply saddened at the demise of our old family business, both for ourselves and our long-standing suppliers.

“We have tried hard to save the jobs of the entire workforce. We are now looking forward to working together with the existing customers and suppliers to build a better future.”

Accounts show that H & E Knowles (Lye) broke even for the year to January 2015; however, the firm had been hampered by restricted cash flow and losses on investment in machinery and premises.

Simon Chandler, from administrators Mazars, said: "The closure of the business would have resulted in the redundancy of all employees immediately before the Christmas period. The sale of the business preserves and protects those 78 employees."

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