Northern Ireland

Acheson & Glover to be sold out of administration

Acheson & Glover, the Tyrone-based concrete manufacturing firm, is due to be sold out of administration as part of a corporate restructuring.

The group went into administration last week but it is understood a deal for its sale is due to be completed shortly, safeguarding 400 jobs.

It was confirmed that the deal involves long-term owner Raymond Acheson.

The firm is based in Fivemiletown, but it has operations across Northern Ireland, particularly in mid Ulster.

In 2012, the firm underwent another restructuring, which involved Bank of Ireland converting some of its debt into a stake in the company.

The company, which was founded in 1960, has made significant losses in recent years due to the downturn in the construction industry across Ireland.

The group went into administration on May 2.

The administration only effects the group holding company, with the operational subsidiaries trading as normal.

A spokesman for the group confirmed joint administrators from BDO were in the process of completing the sale to a new company owned by Raymond Acheson, who has headed the business for more than 30 years.

He said the sale "would enable the trading business to continue as normal without any impact on staff, suppliers of customers".

'Significant strides'

Acheson & Glover's last set of accounts, for the year ending March 2012, showed a loss of £4m that came on top of a £15m loss the previous year.

At that time its liabilities outweighed its assets by almost £31m.

A note in the accounts stated that the firm had made "significant strides" in reducing its costs while "improving the geographical spread of its sales across the UK and Ireland".

The note added that the restructuring of the debt would "significantly reduce the interest burden" on the group in the coming years.

In 2007, just before the industry crashed, the firm spent £33m buying the Finlay Breton precast concrete business.

Since the downturn it has closed manufacturing plants in England and the Republic of Ireland.