Coventry & Warwickshire

Jobs saved as automotive supplier CovPress bought

Image caption CovPress supplies Jaguar Land Rover, Renault and General Motors

Hundreds of jobs have been saved after an engineering company that went into administration was bought.

Liberty House said it was acquiring automotive supplier CovPress in a deal securing 740 skilled workers' jobs at a plant in Canley, Coventry.

CovPress, which supplies Jaguar Land Rover, Renault and General Motors, had been in administration since September.

The business, which will be renamed Liberty Pressing Solutions, has existed on the Canley site for 120 years.

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Liberty Industries Group, part of Liberty House Group, which already has 17 engineering businesses employing more than 1,000 people in the West Midlands, said it regarded the CovPress acquisition as a strong strategic fit with its expanding presence in the automotive supply chain.

Analysis by Peter Plisner, BBC Midlands Today

Liberty House Group is an international business, specialising in metals trading and the manufacture and distribution of steel and advanced engineering products and it seems to be expanding rapidly in the West Midlands.

Last year, the company bought up some parts of the collapsed Caparo business, many of which were based in the Black Country.

Now Liberty's acquired another business out of administration and with it a major advance into the automotive sector.

Bizarrely, CovPress had full order books but suffered cashflow problems.

Liberty House isn't short of money and for the group acquiring CovPress would appear to be the quickest way of growing its capacity at a time when sales in the automotive sector show no sign of slowing down.

The group completed the purchase of an aluminium smelter at Fort William three weeks ago.

Liberty Industries Group chief executive Douglas Dawson said it was "very familiar with the high quality of the operation at CovPress".

He said: "We have drawn up a detailed plan to ensure the future sustainability and profitability of the business.

"That will include ongoing capital investment, strengthened financial management and the benefits that will come from joint purchasing and marketing with our other operations in the UK."

The deal completed with administrators Grant Thornton UK LLP secures the 740 jobs, Liberty said.

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