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Potential buyers found for Lowestoft firm

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:00 02 July 2010

SLP Lowestoft

SLP Lowestoft

Sam Williams

A number of potential buyers have been found for troubled Lowestoft engineering firm SLP - but administrators have confirmed 100 redundancies this month and more to follow.

A number of potential buyers have been found for troubled Lowestoft engineering firm SLP - but administrators have confirmed 100 redundancies this month and more to follow.

The company was forced to call in administrators last November after being the subject of a multi-million dollar legal claim, leaving 800 workers facing an uncertain future.

But lead administrator Stephen Oldfield, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, yesterday confirmed he had been approached by several “serious” bidders interested in buying the whole business as a going concern.

While the number and identity of the interested parties has not been made public, Mr Oldfield said they included overseas companies.

But despite the renewed hope for the future of the business Mr Oldfield said about 100 workers would be made redundant this month and further job cuts were inevitable.

Work on existing contracts is expected to last until the summer, but further orders have dried up because of uncertainty in light of the legal dispute, which had hung over SLP for more than a year.

Mr Oldfield said his priority now was to secure a buyer as soon as possible so a new owner or owners could attract new work to secure the future of the business and its staff.

He said: “We have active parties interested in acquiring the whole of the SLP business, which includes the engineering business and the energy business. We also have interested parties interested in just the energy part of the business and parties just interested in the property.”

He added: “I am very keen to sell the business as soon as I can to give the new buyer as much opportunity as possible to refuel and replenish the order book.”

He said about 60 people had already been made redundant, with 45 set to follow by the end of March.

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