Posted on Tuesday 22 October 2019 by John Mulgrew

Redbus

A deal has been struck to buy the business and assets of Ballymena bus maker Wrightbus after it entered administration with the loss of 1,200 jobs.

Deloitte has confirmed that Bamford Bus Company Limited, a company which is led by industrialist Jo Bamford, has agreed a deal to buy the business and assets of Wrights Group Limited, Wrightbus Limited, Wright En-Drive Limited and Metallix Limited

“The deal also includes an option to acquire the international division of Wright Group Limited.”

However, it remains unclear how many of the 1,200 jobs could be saved. Bamford Bus Company says it is “currently determining the size and composition of the workforce required for its future plans, but the 60 staff retained by the joint administrators have transferred to Bamford Bus Company”.

Michael Magnay and Peter Allen of Deloitte were last month appointed as joint administrators to Wrights Group Limited, Wrightbus Limited, Wright En-Drive Limited, Wright Composites Limited and Metallix Limited.

Meanwhile, in a separate deal, Jans Composites Limited has also agreed the purchase of Wright Composites Limited for an undisclosed sum.

“Three staff members who were retained by the joint administrators, have transferred with the business. The purchaser is currently determining the size and the composition of the workforce it requires going forward."

Peter Allen, joint administrator, said: “We are delighted to have reached a deal with Bamford Bus Company to secure the future of the business in Ballymena.  After making extensive efforts to find a buyer, we are confident the new owner represents a bright future for a key employer in Northern Ireland.”

Jo Bamford says that "Wrightbus is a proud family business which is part of the fabric of Northern Ireland life and business". "I am delighted to acquire such an established and respected brand. We can now start to look to the future and build on the excellent work that Sir William Wright and his family have done to develop the Wrightbus business.

"We will now begin speaking with customers and suppliers over the coming weeks in order to take a closer look at the financial situation that Wrightbus faces in order to build a viable and sustainable business."

Mr Bamford will serve as executive chairman of Wrightbus and Buta Atwal becomes chief executive

Mr Atwal said: "As bus transportation looks to decarbonise, there is growing demand for market leaders in this field. Wrightbus has the potential to lead the way in this area given its track record in manufacturing state of the art zero emission hydrogen buses as well as electric and hybrid models. We must now focus on that opportunity and work hard as a team to move forward and rebuild this great business. Recruitment will begin over the coming weeks and we are very excited about the prospect of recruiting a world class calibre of people to the business."

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