By Patrick Raleigh ERJ On-line news editor
Rochdale, UK-Carter Brothers (Rochdale) Ltd's rubber machinery business, which went into receivership last month, has spawned a new company-Carter International Ltd.
The Rochdale-based firm is to start trading in February, again owned and run by members of the Fletcher family.
Carter International was established on 1 Dec as a rubber machinery manufacturer, supplying and servicing equipment such as internal mixing machines, calenders and extruders. Peter Fletcher-son of Carter Bros owner Jon Fletcher-and Julia Fletcher own 49 percent and 50 percent, respectively, of its allotted shares.
The firm is currently leasing a 10 000-sq-metre plant at Carter Bros' Mellor Street site in Rochdale from BDO Stoy Hayward-Carter Bros' administrators, explained Peter Fletcher, who is chief executive of the new business. Carter International is seeking a new premises, which is likely to be within a two-mile radius of its current location, he added in a 21 Jan telephone inteview.
â€œWe are in the process of securing orders for the new company, which will be officially in place at the beginning of February. Potentially we could have Â£1-million worth of work and are not far off that figure now,â€ commented Fletcher.
Carter International aims to employ around 35, including 25 in machinery manufacture, according to its chief executive. â€œWe are initially looking at about 20 employees, including as many people from the old company as possible,â€ he said.
Carter Bros went into receivership on 8 Dec having run up losses over the last few years. For its fiscal 2003, ended 31 March, the firm reported operating losses of around Â£322 000 and debts of Â£2.67 million.
The financial position led Carter Bros originally to seek a voluntary administration arrangement with the aim of restructuring the business. The idea was â€œto clear debts and give ourselves a fresh start by restructuring the company without losing any face with customers or creditors,â€ Fletcher explained. But, he continued, â€œthe way that it went was that it had to be a full-blown receivership.â€
Under the restructuring plan, Carter Bros, last June, agreed to sell off most of its land and buildings to Henry Boot Developments Ltd of Sheffield, for Â£1.85 million. The sale, however, has yet to go through and remains subject to the developers getting planning permission, said Fletcher. BDO Stoy Hayward is now handling the deal, he pointed out.
Fletcher put much of blame for Carter Bros' demise on personnel issues at the former firm, which had around 70 employees. â€œThere were a lot of good people that worked for us, but also a lot that weren't, more on the management side as much as anything. The people actually charged with going out and getting the sales didn't do the job,â€ he said.
Looking ahead, the Carter International boss commented, â€œIt is a fresh beginning with a more streamlined operation and less overheads. We know what mistakes we made last time, and the people who made those mistakes aren't coming back.â€ He added that there was a lot of support in the market for the new venture.