Specialist armed vehicle manufacturer Penman has been acquired out of administration by a Hull-based vehicle repair firm.
Martin Williams (Hull), which specialises in vehicle bodybuilding and refurbishment, has acquired the business and assets of Penman Engineering, based in Dumfries.
Martin Williams operates from a 65,000 sq ft workshop just outside Hull. It also builds coaches and mounted cranes, and the acquisition will allow the company, owned by brothers Nick and Chris Williams to expand into new markets.
Penman Engineering, which was established in 1859 employed 140 at its Dumfries site. The Williams brothers are planning to get 50 in before Christmas.
Mr Williams said: “We’ve been looking for an acquisition for a while and knew of Penman’s excellent reputation. When we heard it had come to the market we focused significant time and effort in ensuring we made a strong offer for the business. We were therefore delighted that our offer was accepted and the legal process has now been completed.
“As a family we have exciting plans to develop the Penman business, with a view to developing its product range and trading profile. The premises and engineering skills that are available in Dumfries are excellent, and we look forward to growing the business from its Heathhall base. We expect to start recruiting imminently in order that the works can fully function again.
“Our successful Hull based business, Martin Williams (Hull) Limited, is working to full capacity at present and it will therefore be good to share workloads across our locations.”
Penman entered administration on 31 August 2016.
Mark Ranson, Michael Kienlen and Daryl Warwick, all partners with Armstrong Watson’s restructuring, recovery and insolvency team are the appointed administrators.
Mr Ranson said: “We are delighted that we have been able to secure a successful sale for Penman and wish Mr Williams every success in the future.
“We must thank all of the Penman staff for their help and cooperation during the period of administration trading, which we appreciate will have been difficult for them.”
Philip Ashworth, a corporate partner in the York office of Andrew Jackson, together with colleague Grace Howell, advised Martin Williams on its acquisition of Penman. Philip said: “This acquisition sees the well known Hull-based business Martin Williams, save a well established and respected business from closure whilst enabling it to enter new markets that complement its existing core business. Andrew Jackson is delighted to have supported our client in this important deal.”.
The administrators were represented by Tim Cooper and Emma Widdowson from HBJ Gateley.