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Building sector collapse puts city firminto administration; MANUFACTURING.

A Birmingham manufacturing company supplying goods to the construction sector has gone into administration threatening the jobs of 45 employees.

Wakefind, in Great Barr Street, was one of the UK's leading manufacturers of high pressure hydraulic lines for use in the construction industry, as well as commercial vehicles and access platform industries such as rail.

The company, which has an annual turnover of pounds 6.5 million, was forced to call in administrators on Friday after a series of setbacks.

Administrators have said they are hopeful of salvaging the firm as a going concern and are anticipating a lot of interest from would-be purchasers.

The collapse of the business is a further illustration of how the declines in the building and construction sector are now filtering through to the supply sector.

Manufacturing companies are now beginning to be hit, even high profile firms such as Staffordshire-based excavator maker JCB are not immune. The Rocester firm has been forced to make more than 600 redundancies at its assembly plants because of the problems caused by the credit crunch and the worldwide slowdown. Even brick suppliers are being affected.

Baggeridge owner Wienerberger last month announced it was axing 70 jobs from its operation near Kidderminster, blaming the decline in the construction sector as the main reason for the redundancies.

Established in 1986, Wakefind built a strong reputation in the industry for supplying a range of products including flexible and rigid buildkit and lineside products, including all ancillary parts.

In 1987 the company acquired Newbow, a specialist company in the rail and bus sectors, which manufactured both hose and pipe assemblies in all materials and sizes. It also supplies adaptors, fittings and ancillary products.

Newbow is also contracted to the major bus operators in the UK for the supply of replacement hoses and pipes.

The company has appointed MCR to handle the administration, with partners Jason Godefroy and Andrew Stoneman, installed as joint administrators.

Mr Godefroy said: "The company has a strong and loyal customer base. We are concentrating on saving the business and selling it as a going concern. We are confident that there will be a significant amount of interest."

The joint administrators are trading the business as normal.

MCR was formed in April 2001 to offer turnaround, restructuring and insolvency services to banks, lenders, business owners and individuals in the mid-market sector.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 7, 2008
Words:392
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