740 jobs saved as industrial giant buys CovPress
740 jobs have been saved at manufacturer CovPress after it was bought by industrial giant Liberty from the administrators.
The £98m-turnover business, which was owned by Chinese group Shandong Yongtai since 2013, suffered from “significant and urgent funding issues” and appointed administrators in September.
“CovPress is a fundamentally strong business,” said joint administrator Eddie Williams, of Grant Thornton.
“The successful sale to Liberty not only provides a secure future for this pivotal Midlands engineering enterprise but means the administrators should also have funds available to distribute to creditors.”
Liberty Industries Group, part of Liberty House Group, already has 17 engineering businesses employing over 1,000 people across the West Midlands. It completed the deal for CovPress last night, and the terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Douglas Dawson, chief executive of Liberty Industries Group, said: “We are very familiar with the high quality of the operation at Covpress and the skills and equipment in the business. As such we are extremely pleased they are becoming part of the Liberty Industries Group.
“We have drawn up a detailed plan to ensure the future sustainability and profitability of the business. That will include ongoing capital investment, strengthened financial management and the benefits that will come from joint purchasing and marketing with our other operations in the UK.”
CovPress makes body panels for many of the major automotive OEMs, and is a Tier 1 supplier to Jaguar Land Rover, Renault and GM.
Its new owner believes the CovPress business – which will be rebranded as Liberty Pressing Solutions – is “a strong strategic fit” with its established and growing presence in the automotive supply chain.
The Canley site complements Liberty’s existing automotive pressed components facility in Willenhall, which also forms part of the new enlarged Liberty Pressing Solutions division.
Liberty’s strategy is to create a fully-integrated UK industrial supply chain, from raw metal production through to highly-engineered products. Currently more than half of all components used in the one million-plus cars assembled in the UK are imported.
It bought the UK’s only aluminium smelter, at Fort William, in December and announced plans for auto-component manufacturing there.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, added: “There exists a huge opportunity for Britain’s industrial supply chain to achieve dynamic growth through becoming more innovative and competitive.
“By adding quality operations like CovPress to Liberty’s already thriving network, we aim to play a leading part in this landmark economic shift.”