14 May 2004
14 May 2004
Graham Mulholland, owner of the automotive composite parts company, EPM Technologies, is planning to bid for the UK vehicle systems business of Mayflower.
Mayflower went into administration in March this year after the discovery of accounting irregularities, providing an opportunity for Mr Mulholland to pitch for a business much larger than his company EPM Technologies, which specialises in making composite parts for high-performance cars.
Combined with continental European businesses, the Mayflower unit made profits of £1.5m on sales of £93.7m in 2002, when net assets were £28.7m. Deloitte, Mayflower's administrator, has already sold a German operation which contributed to this total.
EPM Technologies is a relatively small company with a turnover of just £6m and 120 staff, but experiencing a period of rapid growth and development. Since its inception in 1997, the company has won respect in motor racing circles for pioneering new techniques in making strong, light structures for vehicles.
The financing of a bid for the Mayflower division depends on help from wealthy backers interested in automotive investment, such as Mr Jones of the Next retail group, who already owns a majority stake in Noble Cars, a Leicestershire enterprise producing sports cars.
The acquisition could help EPM realise the aim of putting composite parts into regular mass production for road cars. The entrepreneur believes lightweight composites have the potential to revolutionise carmaking. There is a degree of fit between the Mayflower business and EPM, as both are suppliers to Ford's Premier Automotive Group, with Mayflower making parts for Land Rover
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