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Last Updated: Monday, 24 December 2007, 14:42 GMT
Slate quarries are sold for 31m
Penrhyn quarry
McAlpine's Penrhyn quarry in Bethesda has been sold
A fraud-hit Welsh slate business has been sold for 31m, it has been announced.

Alfred McAlpine has sold the north Wales operation to Rigcycle, a company linked to construction group Lagan.

It is understood workers at quarries in Penrhyn, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Cwt-y-Bugail and Pen-yr-Orsedd, will transfer to the new owners.

McAlpine uncovered what it described as "clear and systematic fraud" within the business earlier this year.

The company, which supplied slate to Buckingham Palace, warned the discovery was set to leave it with a bill of more than 40m in lost profits and investigation costs.

New owners

McAlpine first revealed in February that it had uncovered evidence of "systematic misrepresentation" of production volumes and sales for several years by a number of senior managers at the business, who have since been sacked.

Around 140 jobs were also lost.

The company, which called in North Wales Police in April, added that those involved tried to conceal their actions by pre-selling material at much cheaper prices.

Paddy Mcnaught, the T&G union's regional industrial organiser, said he had heard that all the workers at the four quarries would transfer to the new owners.

Since the fraud was uncovered, Alfred McAlpine has agreed to be bought by larger rival Carillion for 572m.

The tie-up with Wolverhampton-based Carillion will form one of the largest construction and support services firms in the UK.

Rigcycle is controlled by members of the family which owns the Belfast construction group Lagan.



SEE ALSO
Firm positive on slate sell-off
22 Oct 07 |  North West Wales
Slate quarry job losses 'reduced'
02 Apr 07 |  North West Wales

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