Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Troubled house-building firm sold

David McLean properties
David McLean group employs people in Deeside, Cardiff and Shrewsbury

Part of a house-building firm which went into administration with debts of up to 100m has been sold, but it will still mean up to 65 jobs are lost.

David McLean Homes Ltd, of Deeside, Flintshire, has been bought by Elan Homes Ltd, a new company formed by ex-senior management at David McLean.

Elan Homes said the move would save about 90 of the existing 155 jobs.

The contracting division of David McLean recently announced 134 job losses, blaming the property downturn.

Joint administrator Nick Edwards said Elan Homes was led by former group finance director John Kendrick, and was backed by Barclays Bank.

'Secure jobs'

He added: "We are delighted to have been able to secure a going concern sale of the house building business to Elan Homes.

"This sale will preserve a significant number of jobs, and also represents best value for the creditors of the David McLean group.

"Elan Homes has a strong management team, a strong financial base, and we are confident that they will be able to take the business forward on a stable footing.

"We are very grateful to all the staff of the David McLean group for their support during the administration process, and we wish them and Elan Homes every success for the future."

'Tough conditions'

In a statement, Elan Homes said the purchase would save "circa 90 jobs from the threat of redundancy", but warned that the housing industry still faced tough conditions.

It said it did not know where job cuts would be made.

The company added: "We are very positive about the future. We have some fantastic schemes and although we won't see the high levels of sales we did two years ago, Elan Homes will be in the right position to maintain this level of trade until the market returns."

Last month, it was announced 134 staff at David McLean's contracting division were losing their jobs out of a total workforce of 320.

At the time Deloitte said every effort would be made to secure other parts of the David McLean group, which had estimated debts of up to 100m.

The group is a house builder, building contractor and property developer operating in the north and south west of England, the Midlands, and north and south Wales.

Its Deeside headquarters employs 130 staff with another 40 in Cardiff, 235 in Shrewsbury and 105 working on locations.

North Wales Police have said a 2.5m refurbishment of its Colwyn Bay headquarters would be delayed because of the problems surrounding David McLean.

It also has a building contract involving Prestatyn School and another 11 housing developments around Wales.

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