Black Country group swoops to save hundreds of West Midlands engineering jobs

Hundreds of jobs have been saved after a Black Country group bought an engineering company which went into administration last year.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, pictured with Douglas Dawson, CEO of Liberty Industries at Oldbury. The group has bought CovPress out of administration, saving nearly 800 jobs.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, pictured with Douglas Dawson, CEO of Liberty Industries at Oldbury. The group has bought CovPress out of administration, saving nearly 800 jobs. .

Liberty House is acquiring automotive supplier CovPress in a deal with administrators Grant Thornton that secures the jobs of 740 skilled workers at the firm’s plant in Canley, Coventry.

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

The group completed the purchase of the UK’s only aluminium smelter at Fort William three weeks ago and in 2015 salvaged much of the collapsed Caparo Industries group in the Black Country, saving hundreds of jobs in the process.

Liberty and sister company SIMEC aim to reduce reliance on imports and supply the country’s vehicle manufacturers with more components made locally from British aluminium and steel using renewable energy and recycled metal.

CovPress, a metal stamping and robotic assembly specialist, supplies Jaguar Land Rover, Renault and General Motors. The business, which will be renamed Liberty Pressing Solutions, has existed on the Canley site for 120 years.

Douglas Dawson, chief executive of Liberty Industries Group, said: “We are very familiar with the high quality of the operation at CovPress and the skills and equipment in the business.

“As such we are extremely pleased they are becoming part of the Liberty Industries Group.

“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.”

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, said: “There exists a huge opportunity for Britain’s industrial supply chain to achieve dynamic growth through becoming more innovative and competitive.

“By adding quality operations like CovPress to Liberty’s already thriving network, we aim to play a leading part in this landmark economic shift.”

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