North East Wales

Cobra jobs go with Wrexham car parts firm in administration

Astra cars at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant, Cheshire
Image caption Cobra UK has a £12m order to supply interior parts for the new Astra

A car components firm which relocated to Wrexham from Powys eight months ago has gone into administration.

Administrators said 18 staff were being made redundant at Cobra UK but 120 would remain as they seek to sell the firm as a going concern.

The company, which still has a site in Welshpool, moved after landing a £12m order from Vauxhall to supply interior parts for the new Astra.

It makes components for brands including Bentley, Audi and Volvo.

Kim Rayment, one of the joint administrators, said: "Unfortunately the economic climate and difficult trading conditions significantly affected the business.

"However, we are hopeful of securing a sale and the company will continue to trade whilst this is explored."

Cobra UK took over a 70,000 sq ft building on Wrexham Industrial Estate last Christmas.

It was previously occupied by German company BoS, which switched production to Hungary and Romania four years ago with the loss of 125 jobs.

The company's expansion was backed with money from the Welsh government's repayable business finance scheme, which was understood to be less than £250,000.

BBC Wales understands the firm was on the verge of securing support from a German company, which could have led to further expansion.

Large loan

But a well placed source said before a deal could be signed Cobra's bankers decided to call in a large loan at short notice.

"We're still hoping the deal can be rescued," the source added. "We were within touching distance of the winning post and everyone is devastated that this has happened."

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "Officials are maintaining close contact with Cobra and have offered support to the company to see if jobs can be retained."

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