Pre-pack deals save 430 jobs as engineering group breaks up

By Tim Aldred

21 Mar 2024

Pexion

All but one of the 14 subsidiaries within the Chorley-based Pexion Group have been acquired through pre-pack sales, saving 430 jobs.

The group specialises in the design, development and manufacture of high specification precision, subtractive, additive, fabricated and electronic components and sub-assemblies for high-tech industries including aerospace, automotive, medical and general industrial sectors.

The group consists of a parent company, Pexion Limited, and 14 trading subsidiaries.

Over recent months, the group had experienced challenging trading conditions and had started to come under increasing financial pressure from its suppliers.  This in turn put pressure on the group’s liquidity position.

The directors reviewed sale and restructuring options, but when a solvent solution could not be found they took steps to seek the appointment of administrators.

Richard Harrison and Howard Smith from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators to fourteen companies across the Pexion Group on 19 March 2024. In addition, Stuart Irwin and Richard Harrison were appointed joint administrators over another group subsidiary, Nitronica Limited, on the same date.

Immediately following their appointment, the joint administrators completed six separate transactions which safeguards the future thirteen of the group’s operating subsidiaries, and preserves 430 jobs at sites across the country.

The transactions include:

  • the sales of Pexion Limited (based in Chorley), Rictor Engineering Limited (based in Denton), Alan Gordon Engineering Limited (based in Chorley), Paragon Precision Limited (based in Hull), SKN Electronics Limited (based in Birmingham), HT Tooling Solutions Limited (based in Manchester), Elite Tooling Solutions Limited (also based in Manchester) and Oxton Engineering Limited (based in Birkenhead) to a company owned by Baaj Capital LLP. A total of 144 people have transferred to the purchaser as part of the transaction.
  • The sales of Nitronica Limited (based in Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland) to Hinchtech Limited and Simtek EMS Limited (based in Margate) to Westwood EMS Limited. A total of 174 people have transferred to the purchasers.
  • The sales of Claro Precision Engineering Ltd (based in Knaresborough) and Drurys Engineering Ltd (based in Hitchin) to Amcomri Group Limited, with 76 members of staff transferring to the purchaser.
  • The sale of Precision Engineering Pieces Ltd (based in Tewkesbury) to Geometric Manufacturing Ltd, with 38 members of staff transferring.
  • The sale of Clitheroe Light Engineering Ltd (based in Clitheroe) to Bryden Venture Engineering Ltd with a total of 25 employees transferring as part of the transaction.

Phasa Limited, based in Newmarket, is not included as part of these transactions and as a result, the joint administrators will take steps to wind this business down, with the loss of four jobs.

In addition, the joint administrators have made 13 people employed by the parent company Pexion Limited redundant. The joint administrators will be providing support to all those impacted by redundancy, including supporting them with claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.

Richard Harrison, joint administrator and managing director at Interpath Advisory, said: “We are delighted to have concluded these six transactions which not only willl safeguard the future of thirteen of the group’s operating subsidiaries, but importantly, safeguards 430 jobs.”

“Pexion is a highly diversified group which supplies some of the world’s largest OEMs and tiered supply chain providers across key industries including the aerospace, defence and automotive sectors. The complexity of the group, coupled with the financial challenges it was facing, meant there was a requirement to complete six separate transactions to a very short timetable.

"As such, we are enormously grateful to the very many stakeholders who worked collaboratively with us to get these transactions over the line.”

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