One of Derby’s most high profile engineering businesses has been sold out of administration after suffering the most turbulent financial period in its 21-year history.
EPM Technology, which supplies parts to high-tech sectors such as Formula One, went into administration on Friday.
The firm, which is based at Westside Park, in Belmore Way, off Raynesway, and has provided work for as many as 150 people in times of peak demand, called in administrators from Duff and Phelps after entering what it described as a “challenging” financial period.
EPM, which makes carbon-fibre components for sectors including motor sport, aerospace and defence, had come under “significant pressure” from creditors, according to Duff and Phelps.
The business has now been sold by the administrators to a newly-formed business called EPM Composites.
It is not known how much EPM Technology owed to creditors before entering administration. But as a result of the deal it is now free of its liabilities.
The deal comes just months after EPM Technology was bought by AS.G (Area Services Global) Group, part of Manchester-based a2e Industries, which at the time said it aimed to support the firm’s growth ambitions.
EPM supplies its products to the fast-paced world of Formula One (Image: Getty Images)
But last month the firm called on Duff and Phelps to run a “marketing campaign” to find potential investors for EPM or sell the business and assets as a going concern.
Then, on Friday, Steve Clancy and Matt Ingram, from Duff and Phelps, were appointed as joint administrators and later that same day announced the sale of the business to EPM Composites.
According to Duff and Phelps, the deal has “saved jobs” – although it has not specified how many. The Derby Telegraph understands that around 70 people could still be employed by the firm.
Back in September, when AS.G took over, EPM’s then chief executive Graham Mulholland, who founded the business in 1996, welcomed the deal and stayed on with the firm to help spearhead its growth plans.
EPM Technology founder Graham Mulholland left the business in October
But according to Mr Mulholland, not long after AS.G took control, he had “fundamental disagreements” with the new owners over how the business should be run and claims he was asked to leave the business in October.
He said: “I am absolutely devastated at what has happened since I left the business. EPM is a world-class company, with a world-class workforce and world-class facilities.
“I sincerely hope for the sake of the workforce that the company has a future going forward.”
After starting out in 1996 in Draycott, EPM grew into a major manufacturer of bespoke carbon-fibre components, supplying to businesses operating in a wide-range of industries where high-performance is critical.
EPM’s state-of-the-art factory is located off Raynesway
In 2014, it moved to its current premises – a purpose-built factory off Raynesway – a move which was made possible thanks to £4.75 million from the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund, which is overseen by Derby City Council.
And earlier this year the company won the International Trade Award at the Derby Telegraph Business Awards.
Mr Mulholland said: “I spent more than 20 years of my life building the company into something I was incredibly proud of.
“The company that has now taken over EPM has inherited a world-class workforce. EPM has been around for 21 years, I hope it will be around for another 21.”
EPM Technology was a winner at this year’s Derby Telegraph Business Awards
When contacted by the Derby Telegraph, EPM Composites said that it was “business as usual” for the firm and the workforce, who had all transferred over to the new company.
Mr Clancy, from Duff and Phelps, said he felt the deal with EPM Composites would put the business in a “very strong position” going forward.
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He said: “We are delighted to have achieved a sale of the business and assets on a going concern basis and wish the new business the very best for the future.
“The restructuring of the company will now put it in a very strong position to continue and develop relationships with its prestigious customer base and secure the employment of the highly skilled workforce who have a fantastic reputation for creating high-quality, market-leading products.
“I am sure that the company will develop its business and continue to grow sustainably.”
Source: Derby Telegraph