George Wilkinson sold in Metalrax break-up

THE parent company of Lancashire baking tray manufacturing business George Wilkinson has been sold to London investor Cable Capital Partners, part of Cable Finance.

It is one of a number of deals that completed today securing nearly 400 jobs after administrators from KPMG were appointed to Birmingham-based engineer Metalrax.

Metalrax, which blamed challenging trading and lack of funding for its problems, has been sold to a group of companies headed by engineer Bowman Birmingham.

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, said KPMG.

Metalrax Housewares, which owns Burnley-based George Wilkinson, was not affected by the administration and changed hands in a solvent sale. This was also the case with Metalrax Overseas Holdings which has been bought by Arc.

George Wilkinson, which employs 100 people, has been manufacturing in Burnley since 1931 and has been part of Metalrax since 1979. As well as bakeware products it makes wine racks and other kitchen products such as toaster bags and cooking products designed for microwave ovens.

Joint administrator Will Wright said: “The group has experienced difficult trading conditions for some time, primarily within their 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.”