Things are looking up for Birmingham, England-based custom injection molder Britton's Plastics Ltd., which was taken over by receivers after its parent group collapsed last month.
With mounting interest from would-be buyers and the prospect of valuable new automotive and other plastic component orders in sight, the future of the 100 employees seems more assured.
Three British injection molding firms have stepped forward in serious bidding for Britton's, and a sale is expected shortly, said Malcolm Shierson, a partner with accounting firm Grant Thornton in Manchester, England. He and partner Rod Weston are joint receivers of several businesses of Britton's former parent, Presbar Diecastings Ltd. of Manchester.
Presbar, whose main business was aluminum die casting, collapsed after losing key customers in the face of strong foreign competition and the strong pound sterling, Shierson said.
Shierson is administering Presbar assets, including Britton's and zinc die-casting subsidiary Peel Diecasting Ltd. Britton's is profitable, Shierson said.
``The collapse of the group has come at an unfortunate time for Britton's, who have recently negotiated over £2 million ($3.2 million) of new orders in the automotive sector. In addition, they are negotiating a contract with a major retailer,'' he said.
Shierson said the molder has annual sales of more than £5 million pounds ($8 million). He said it is unlikely to experience layoffs after a sale. Britton's runs 39 presses including machines from Demag, Boy and Negri Bossi.
Shierson said Britton's recently negotiated new orders to supply molded body and interior components to European truck maker Leyland DAF. If this business is confirmed, it will give the plant work for three to four years.
Britton's has also been negotiating contracts to supply plastic crates to Britain's post office and to make products including garden wheelbarrows for major retailers, Shierson said.