MORE workers have been made redundant after a double blow for the Lola brand that saw the potential sale of Lola Composites stall, and Lola Cars cease trading.
Last week The Hunts Post reported that a sale of the composites part of the Huntingdon-based company was “imminent” and the search for a buyer for the cars side was still ongoing.
But on Friday (October 5), employees were told by the company administrators that Lola Cars International Limited had ceased trading and the remaining few employees – thought to be just two – were made redundant. A further 23 workers from Lola Composites were also be made redundant because of the stalled deal.
Mark Newman and James Snowdon of administrators CCW Recovery Solutions LLP announced the decision news (Tuesday).
In a joint statement about Lola Cars, they said: “At the end of September, having not received an acceptable offer for the business as a going concern, we considered whether or not we should continue trading.
“During the first week of October we concluded that a going concern sale of the business was not going to be possible, and the company ceased to trade on October 5, which unfortunately led to the redundancy of the remaining staff working in the business.”
CCW Recovery Solutions will now look at selling the assets of Lola Cars.
In regards to Lola Composites, the administrators added: “Since being appointed administrators we have regrettably had to make a number of staff redundant.
“There have been two seriously interested parties in acquiring the business, both of whom have engaged solicitors who in turn have been discussing the details of the sale contract with our own solicitors.
“However, though both of those interested parties are still discussing their interest with us, neither has committed to progressing their purchase at this time.
“Following a review of the likelihood of a sale of the business in the short term, and the current order book, we had to consider our staffing needs going forward, and we had no alternative but to make a further 23 staff redundant on Friday.”
Lola Cars was established in 1958 by Eric Broadley MBE and moved to Huntingdon in 1970.
Seven years later Martin Birrane rescued the business from folding but the latest economic downturn and HMRC’s decision to stop funding research and development tax credits – worth about £1.4million – forced him to put the business into administration in May.
Lola Composites still has 62 employees and has orders that run into 2013.
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly said: “It’s a sad day for Lola Cars. The brand is still separate from the business so lets hope something comes back in the name.
“It’s a sorry time that car manufacturing in Huntingdon has ceased and that so many jobs and skills have been lost as a result.”
He added that he was going to talk to the administrators to discuss future plans.