LSE calls in administrators

The jobs of around 200 workers hang in the balance after administrators were called into iconic Norfolk engineering company Laurence Scott & Electromotors.

The jobs of around 200 workers hang in the balance after administrators were called into iconic Norfolk engineering company Laurence Scott & Electromotors.

LSE, which designs and manufactures heavy duty electric motors, has been a mainstay of the Norwich economy for more than a century, but in recent years has faced a battle for survival.

In 2004 owner FKI announced the business was to close with the loss of more than 200 jobs.

After more than a year of negotiations a consortium led by US businessman George Clair struck a £4.1m deal to buy the company, securing the jobs of the workforce.

Last year the company, which has around 200 workers, announced it was expanding overseas, opening a second factory in the southern US state of Louisiana, close to the oil and gas businesses who are major customers.

But yesterday corporate recovery experts Kroll were appointed administrators.

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Kroll said the company entered administration because of cash flow difficulties. It will continue to trade while options for the business are explored.

The EDP understands that the company has a healthy order book, and has enough cash to continue paying workers for the time being, but experienced problems with one major creditor.

Andrew Pepper, Kroll partner and joint administrator said: “We will be reviewing all options while we continue to trade

the business. We appreciate this is a concerning time for all employees, but we will do all we can to keep them informed.”

LSE is also in the process of trying to secure a new site, with the lease on its Hardy Road headquarters due to expire in a year's time.

When FKI sold the business, the land was not included as the two sides could not agree its value. FKI still wants to redevelop it for housing.

Union officials are due to hold talks on site later today, to find out the extent of the problems and prospects for the sale of the business.

Mark Robinson of union Amicus which represents many of the workers at LSE said: “We want to work with the administrators to sell the business as a going concern.”

David Dukes, business development manager at Norfolk County Council, said: “We will work closely with the company to explore all options and are hopeful the company can be saved as a going concern.”

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