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Indian takeover means staff won't go Hungary.

A manufacturing company scheduled to close 18 months ago has been saved - safeguarding 37 jobs.

Cramlington Precision Forge Ltd has been taken over by Indian company Sundram Fasteners Ltd, which intends to create five new jobs at the plant.

The news is a big boost for the workforce - who were told they would lose their jobs in June 2002 when CPF's parent company, Dana Spicer, announced it was closing the Cramlington plant and moving production to Hungary.

Northumberland County Council and regional development agency One NorthEast met Dana representatives but attempts to secure a management buyout proved unsuccessful. Indian conglomerate Sundram Fasteners took over the firm last month as a part of its move to globalise its business.

Steve Rose, general manager of Cramlington Precision Forge, said: "It has been hard work but the takeover is the best possible news we could have going into the new year."

The acquisition was made with the aid of a business plan devised by Northumberland County Council's Business Development team and a One NorthEast Regional Selective Assistance grant of pounds 249,000.

Cramlington Precision Forge Ltd produce precision forged gears and components for medium and heavy trucks and off-highway agricultural applications.

However, CPF Ltd has recently extended its portfolio in supplying precision forged gears and blanks for the defence and professional power tool industries.

The activity is specialised with only one competitor in Europe. The firm also works alongside universities to develop new materials and processes.

Blue chip customers have already contacted the company to reaffirm their commitment to continue trading with CPF.

Northumberland County Council Business Development Officer Graham Adams said: "We are delighted that the future of this company has been secured.

"It was the skill and commitment of the Cramlington Precision Forge workforce which made this such an attractive venture for Sundram."

Coun Stuart McKellar, executive member for employment for Northumberland County Council, said: "Not only have the jobs of the workforce been safeguarded, we have attracted a multi-billion pound company to create a base in Northumberland."

Alan Clarke, chief executive of One NorthEast, said: "This is excellent news for the existing staff at the company and is a major boost for South East Northumberland as a whole."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 7, 2004
Words:368
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