Talks are under way to salvage a Norfolk engineering firm after administrators were called in following cashflow problems.

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Insolvency practitioners SFP has been appointed administrators to vehicle accessories manufacturer Active Technologies Limited after the firm encountered financial difficulties due to a number of significant debts.

The firm, which is based at the Hethel Engineering Centre and is a member of the EDP Future 50, employs 30 people and has a turnover of £2.5m.

Simon and Daniel Plant from SFP were appointed joint administrators after the company experienced cashflow problems and accrued debts of approximately £400,000.

While there is no news yet on the jobs front, the move is believed to have come just as employees were due to be paid, while two staff mambers had previously been made redundant as part of a proposed restructure before the administrators were called in.

However, the EDP understands that one option being discussed by the existing three directors is for a buyout which would break up the business into two separate parts.

Simon Plant, group partner at SFP, said Active Technologies Limited cited cashflow problems as the main reason for its failure.

“To survive the current downturn in the economy it is imperative to keep an eye on finances and ensure that cash is available to keep the company afloat,” he said.

“In this case, the company is continuing to trade to maintain goodwill, and we are in discussions with a potential buyer to facilitate the sale of Active Technologies as a trading business and all of its assets.”

The company was developed by managing director Paul Spinks from innovating engine throttle body design and manufacture to providing resource in engineering, quality, program management and tooling automation.

In 2010, Active Technologies underwent a recruitment drive, which increased staffing levels by 33pc, and a major expansion fuelled by a number of global companies identifying the need for strong and flexible resources to support their strategy for growth.

The problems at Active is the second blow to befall a Hethel-based business. In July Scion-Sprays went into liquidation with the loss of 17 jobs after being unable to secure the finds to become a manufacturing entity.

shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk

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