170-year old manufacturer falls into administration

Posted on 27 Apr 2011 by The Manufacturer

Bristol-based specialist metal vessels manufacturer Braby, first formed over 170-years ago, has gone into administration with the immediate loss of half of its staff.

The company – a supplier of aluminium and stainless steel silos and tanks and vessels to the food, plastics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries – was originally founded in 1839 by Frederick Braby and the company still operates from its original site in Ashton Gate, Bristol.
It counts some of the UK’s largest manufacturers, including GlaxoSmithKline and Allied Bakeries, as customers.

A management buy-out led by managing director John Lee took place in 2005 but the business fell into difficulty during recession.

Nigel Morrison of administrators Grant Thornton said a financing deal to keep the company running has recently fallen through. Local press reports suggests this deal would have involved a sale to a foreign company but the two parties could not agree a price. The company will continue to trade while a buyer is sought but 27 of its 53 employees have been made redundant with immediate effect.

“Despite being a long-established business and the UK market leader in its field, Braby Limited was not immune to the global recession which has led to its blue-chip customer base reducing its spend on large capital items, such as those supplied by the company,” said Morrison.

“The directors had for some time been in discussions with a large European group which it was hoped would provide strategic finance into Braby Limited and secure its future. Unfortunately, these discussions came to an end and as the business was unable to meet its financial commitments, the directors made the difficult decision to appoint administrators.”