Steel Manufacturer to Close, 43 Job Losses

Steel Manufacturer to Close, 43 Job Losses

Kidderminster steel manufacturer, Smethwick Drop Forge has closed with the 43 jobs set to be lost after administrators could not find a suitable buyer for the ailing company.

The business had seen sales drop by 65% over the last four years, having been above £13 million five years ago.

The most recent published accounts, for the year to July 31, 2015, showed a £300,000 loss, while the steel industry has been under a great amount of pressure during the last year.

The company produced highly engineered connecting rods for major truck and automotive OEMs, including JLR, Perkins Engines and Fiat Powertrain Technologies.

Smethwick Drop Forge appointed Chris Pole and Mark Orton from KPMG as administrators and the company was closed, after efforts by management to sell the business and a further accelerated marketing process failed.

Mr Pole said: “Like many suppliers in the manufacturing industry, Smethwick Drop Forge has been affected by difficult trading conditions which has ultimately resulted in the directors taking the difficult decision to close its operations and place the business into administration.

“Over the coming days, our main focus is on supporting employees with their redundancy claims and seeking a buyer for the business’ assets while we work to effect an orderly closure of the business.

“We would encourage anybody who may be interested to contact the joint administrators as soon as possible.

Earlier this year an Environment Agency prosecution into an illegal hazardous waste site at Smethwick Drop Forge’s site resulted in Michael Wright being given a six-month suspended sentence at Worcester Crown Court.

KPMG has said it is not aware of this having a material effect on the company.


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