Thirty jobs lost at Gloucestershire firm as administrators called in

Just under 30 people lost their jobs when a Gloucestershire technology firm called in the administrators.

The board at AIM listed Trackwise had been battling to save the business for several months.

Last week the Tewkesbury firm pulled the plug on a fundraising drive when it failed to raise the cash needed to save the business.

A decision to put Trackwise up for sale also failed to raise interest among potential investors.

The board concluded that it is required to take the necessary steps to preserve value for creditors.

As a result Arvindar Jit Singh and Raj Mittal, both of FRP Advisory have been appointed joint administrators.

It is understood around 45 people worked for the firm before it went into administration.

A statement has now been published by the administrators.

It said: “Trackwise is a Gloucestershire-based specialist manufacturer using printed circuit technology for a wide range of sectors, including electric vehicles, aerospace and medical equipment. The business entered into administration after efforts to secure additional investment in the business proved unsuccessful.

“Regrettably, 29 employees have been redundant, and the Joint Administrators are providing assistance to impacted staff to access support from the Redundancy Payments Service.

Joint Administrator Raj Mittal said: “Trackwise has been in operation for a number of years, building a reputation for innovation and technical excellence. Despite the best efforts of the Board of Directors and the employees, the business was unable to secure the additional investment it needed to continue. We will now focus on providing assistance to those members of staff who have been impacted, while continuing to explore interest in the business and its assets.”

The company said the likely outcome for creditors of the firm is currently unknown and it is not expected that the appointment of the administrators will enable there to be any return to the shareholders of Trackwise.

The announcement does not affect subsidiary Stevenage Circuits  which is not in administration.

Chief executive Philip Johnston said: “It is beyond words the disappointment that I feel in having to make this announcement.

“So many colleagues – past and present, customers, suppliers, collaborators and investors have worked tirelessly, sacrificed so much, dug so deep, to develop Trackwise and to deliver Improved Harness Technology.

“I thank them all for their support over many years and am so very sorry that all of that has come to this. It is certainly not for the lack of trying.”

Andrew Lapping, Chair of Trackwise, added: “I am truly sorry that the strategy set out for Trackwise in December has failed to produce the hoped for result.

“Chris Pennison and I joined the board in January in the knowledge that the £4.8m fundraise only gave the company a limited cash runway and would therefore require positive commercial progress in H1 2023.

“Our short-term strategy was dependent on securing a Nomination from a Tier 1 for automotive OEM B, a project that has been worked on for at least 12 months. A decision on this was originally expected in the first quarter or in April but in the event, a final decision was only made in late July.

“If we had won the nomination, it would have allowed Trackwise to seek to raise sufficient funds to take it to the start of production and significant cashflow.

“Moreover, it would have provided the Company with much needed verification, giving our customer pipeline further confidence to trade with Trackwise.

“Confirmation that we had lost out on the Nomination was a huge disappointment for everyone. We had expended a huge amount of effort to give us the best possible chance of success.

“The result of not winning the Nomination, particularly after the delay in the award decision, inevitably left our cash runway severely depleted. After consultation, and with no obvious source of new funding, there was simply no choice but to put the company up for sale and this action greatly increased creditor pressure.

“I want to assure all that we have explored all possible routes to raising finance without success.

“It is with personal regret that the strategy set out in December has failed and I can only apologise for the end result.”

Last December chief executive Philip Johnston was forced to apologise after the firm’s share price crashed by 81 per cent following heavily discounted fund-raising plan

The award winning firm manufactures specialist products using printed circuit technology.

Trackwise has clients in a number of markets including aerospace, automotive, medical and scientific and industrial.

Its products are exported around the world, including the USA, Australia, Europe and China.

Founded in 1989 as a printed circuit board (PCB) design bureau, in 2010, it developed the globally unique capability of producing multi layer, flexible printed circuit boards of any length.