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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Buy-out team hopeful for future
Circatex
Last year staff voted for job losses and a pay cut to save the plant
A troubled Tyneside electronics factory, which is being run by its third set of bosses in as many years, has a bright future, managers claim.

South Shields-based Circatex, which makes printed circuit boards, saw its second management buy-out in May.

Only 180 jobs remain from an original workforce of more than 1,400 when the site was established by then American owners Viasystems five years ago.

But new management say they are hopeful the plant can still be successful.

Administrators were called into the plant in March, after the plant suffered its second bout of financial trouble.

Some 350 of the 520 jobs which remained from the demise of Viasystems, were cut.

We have gone from a business that required a 44m turnover to break even, to needing 10m
Circatex managing director, Mark Beesley

When the administrators were called in, the company said a cash flow problem had been sparked by increasingly tough foreign competition.

But now the new management team say they have found new markets and have a leaner operation.

New managing director Mark Beesley said: "There are so many things in our favour at the moment.

"The market we are serving is very clear to us and we benefit from a very skilled and committed workforce.

Unemployment blackspot

"We've been through a very traumatic time, but the process of administration has allowed us to transform ourselves into a business that is agile and has an overhead base that is appropriate.

"We have gone from a business that required a 44m turnover to break even, to needing 10m."

Graham Slater, of the union Amicus, which represents the bulk of the remaining workforce, said he was backing the new management team.

He said: "As a union leader I have to say that 180 jobs are better than no jobs at all.

"The North East is still an unemployment blackspot and they way forward is for the people here to make a success of this factory.

"The more successful we are the more people we can take on."

The union is considering legal action on behalf of the workers who were made redundant, in the form of unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims and is working to secure payments for them.





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SEE ALSO:
Deal saves 180 electronics jobs
29 May 04  |  Tyne/Wear
Legal battle follows job losses
31 Mar 04  |  Tyne/Wear
Electronics firm to shed 350 jobs
30 Mar 04  |  Tyne/Wear


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