Merger spells doom for 25 forging jobs

An estimated 10% of the workforce at two West Midlands metals companies are to lose their jobs following their merger with a privately-owned forging business. Parent company Hill & Smith said it was selling British & Midland Forgings in Wednesbury and Criterion Stampings in Willenhall to Brockhouse in a £2.5m deal backed by Midland Growth […]

An estimated 10% of the workforce at two West Midlands metals companies are to lose their jobs following their merger with a privately-owned forging business.

Parent company Hill & Smith said it was selling British & Midland Forgings in Wednesbury and Criterion Stampings in Willenhall to Brockhouse in a £2.5m deal backed by Midland Growth Capital, the venture capital arm of HSBC.

Around 25 of the combined workforce of 210 will be made redundant and more jobs could be lost in the future.

As part of the deal, Hill & Smith will buy safety barrier products manufacturer Berry Systems from Brockhouse for £3m.

Brockhouse, the subject of a management buy-out from conglomerate EIP in 1994, said it would merge the two acquisitions with its own forgings operation in West Bromwich.

Managing director David Greaves said the integration was inevitable. `Recent events have illustrated how difficult many small to medium-sized West Midlands forging companies are finding it to remain competitive on a worldwide scale.’

Hill & Smith chief executive David Grove said the deal got the group out of peripheral, low-growth areas.

British and Midland and Criterion made a combined loss of £716,000 last year on assets of £2.7m.