TransTec to be sold off

TransTec, the engineering group founded by former treasury minister Geoffrey Robinson, is expected to be broken up following the appointment of receivers late last week.

Both Richard Carr, chief executive, and Bill Jeffrey, finance director, resigned from the company following the disclosure of an £11m claim from Ford Motors dating from before 1998 which had not been fully paid. TransTec said it had paid most of the claim but £4m was still outstanding.

The claim is believed to concern cylinder heads made for Ford at the firm’s Campsie foundry in Northern Ireland.

Robinson resigned as chairman of TransTec in May 1997. It is not known whether he was aware of the Ford claim. He retains a 16% shareholding in the company.

Shares in TransTec were suspended on Christmas Eve and receiver Arthur Andersen was called in a week later.

The receiver is now seeking buyers for TransTec’s subsidiaries. These are concentrated in the automotive sector, but it also owns firms which manufacture plastics and controls.

The Birmingham-based company employs around 4,000, mostly in the UK. Its turnover in 1998 was £390m.

Robinson, who was chief executive of Jaguar cars from 1973-1975, founded TransTec in 1981.