Glynwed has sold Wednesbury Tube to Mueller Industries of the US for £12.5m. In August the engineering group earmarked for sale 22 businesses with a combined £150m turnover. Revenues of the Wednesbury copper tube and fittings firm account for £59m of this. Three other disposals, of firms with total sales of £7m, have been made.
All 440 jobs at Wednesbury are likely to be protected, said a Glynwed spokesman. Mueller plans to invest at the Bilston plant.
The sale of Wednesbury will result in a £12m net charge against Glynwed’s 1996 accounts, due to be published on 18 March. Analysts are downgrading pre-tax profit forecasts for 1996 from about £80m-£85m to £69m-£72m. They are generally positive about the sale, which they say is long overdue. They see it as paving the way for Glynwed to concentrate on higher value products and acquisitions.
Analysts expect the remaining disposals to come in low profit margin construction businesses. Glynwed’s aluminium and stainless distribution operations could also go, say analysts, to reduce the group’s exposure to cyclical products.