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Rescue deal saves 115 machine firm jobs
MORE than 100 jobs have been saved at a Queen's Award-winning precision engineering firm, which has been rescued from administration.
The future of Fin Machine Company (FMC) in Seaham, County Durham was in doubt after it went up for sale in September amid cashflow problems, which had prevented the 28-year-old business from meeting customer demand.
It continued to trade while a buyer was sought, but about 50 staff have lost their jobs.
The firm, which designs and produces machinery and tools used to make components for the air conditioning and car industry, is now eyeing new markets after it was bought by an affiliate of the American Industrial Acquisition Corporation (AIAC).
It has been re-branded as Fin Automation Limited, as part of plans to identify opportunities in the global automotive market with sister companies in the AIAC group.
"This is great news," said chief executive David Jennings, an industry expert who will lead Fin Automation's drive for growth.
"I am really pleased for all of the people here who have shown great professionalism and dedication during what was a very challenging time. It is always sad when you lose people, but we have retained all of our key skills and capabilities and are now moving forward with confidence.
"AIAC invests in engineering firms that have the potential for growth, so this is a real vote of confidence in what we do here," added Mr Jennings.
The company now employs 115 highly skilled and experienced staff at its County Durham factory and exports more than 95 per cent of its machines to customers in the US, Brazil, Mexico, China, India and Europe.
It was awarded the ultimate business accolade in 1997 when its success in overseas markets earned it the Queen's Award for Export.
Its 8,000 sq metre headquarters, on Seaham Grange Industrial Estate, houses a highly-skilled research and development team which produces bespoke designs for clients.
US-based AIAC was founded in 1996.
It is a growing, privately-held industrial group of 56 manufacturing operations with over 9,200 employees in 17 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia and total annual revenues of more than $1.5bn.
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