ROVER TO SELL OFFSHOOT
By Michael Smith
Austin Rover Group is to sell its Welsh components subsidiary, Llanelli Radiators, into private hands. The state owned vehicle maker has asked its financial advisors, Hill Samuel, to seek tenders from potential buyers for the company by December 12. The main interest in the Llanelli based company is expected to come from an employee buy out arranged by general manager, Michael Riley, and the firms staff of 900 people.
The company makes radiators, heat exchange equipment and seat frames largely for Austin Rover, but has recently been trying to reduce its dependence on ARG. Total sales are now running at over £30 million. Austin Rover said last night that the sale was being conducted in line with the policy of selling off the non-mainstream car business.
However, the timing of the sale does appear unusual because ARG chairman Graham Day, is currently preparing a comprehensive review of the groups structure and corporate plan for the future. The plan, which will set out the blueprint for ARG over the next few years, is not likely to be submitted to the Trade and Industry Secretary, Paul Channon, until late next month.