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Trade News

Historic boiler firm is steaming ahead

It’s full steam ahead at a Black Country engineering company
following a management buyout supported by £750,000 of funding to ensure
the survival of the historic business.


Wellman Group, in Oldbury, is now a new company called Robey-Wellman Boilers and Furnace, following the MBO by new directors Steven Price, Leigh Bryan and Peter Gibbs.

The three directors, who have decades of experience in the industrial steam boiler and furnace industries, say the name recognises the long heritage and engineering excellence of the Robey and Wellman brands.

Wellman Group called in the administrators in the summer after a dispute with a key international supplier could not be resolved following 18 months of planning and negotiations.

Administrators Tony Hyams and Lloyd Hinton, of London firm Insolve Plus, were called in two months ago.

As a result, 15 staff were immediately made redundant from the 82-strong workforce. Another 15 went as talks were held with a number of possible buyers interested in the business and its assets.

The business continued to trade for four weeks until an buyout by the management could be finalised, supported by £750,000 funding enabling the company to move forward.

Director Peter Gibbs, who has worked with Wellman companies for nearly 25 years, said the new company consolidated previous divisions of the Wellman Group.

“We are now one company and focused on moving full steam ahead, building on the long heritage we have here and also looking to invest in both research & development and engineering talent as we progress.

“However, what remains unchanged is Wellman’s commitment to excellent customer service.

“Our priority is to make sure our customers and potential customers are informed and engaged in what has happened in recent weeks, and reassure where needed that the company is already up and running and operating effectively.”

The new owners have vowed to build on Wellman’s reputation for traditional values, cost-effective solutions and good service.

Wellman has been based at the Oldbury site at Newfield Road for more than 150 years.

It can trace its roots all the way back to 1840 and the Dudley iron boat and boilermaking firm of Danks of Netherton.

Director Leigh Bryan said: “We are delighted that 55 jobs were secured by this MBO, and as we grow and invest in our products and services, we have no doubt that we will be looking to recruit the next generation of talent to contribute to another successful 150 years of Wellman engineering excellence.”

Wellman’s customers range from industrial steel processing giants such as Tata Steel to NHS Trusts, with more than 80 per cent of recent PFI projects at NHS hospitals across the UK opting for Robey-Wellman products.

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