Bolton-based clean air specialist Howorth Air Technology has been bought from administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers by a management team led by former director Adrian Parkin and Jim Liptrot, who has taken the role of operations director. The company name remains Howorth Air Technology. It is now privately owned and funded.
Howorth’s former financial director, David Fisher, has also re-joined the team, along with Andrew Parker, who will fulfill the role of chairman and chief executive of the group, as well as heading Westbury Filtermation sales. Parker is the previous owner of Westbury Filters and Filtermation Products, which became part of Howorth Air Technology as Westbury Filtermation in 2008. “A lack of sales and a highly leveraged financial deal with Barclays Ventures led to our difficulties,” said Parkin. “Barclays pulled the plug last November, saying it was not prepared to put in any more money and we went into administration. However, we are convinced that the worst is behind us and Howorth has a great future. We are now looking to re-establish ourselves in the operating theatre/medical and pharmaceutical sectors.”
He added that the company also hopes to expand its filters business in Burnley where it has a manufacturing facility.
“We have kept intact the same products and the same suppliers. Our customers have said they will be happy to deal with the new company.”
Howorth Air Technology was founded by the Howorth family in 1858 and remained under its ownership until 1988 when it was sold to Len Morris. Parkin joined the firm in the mid-90s, becoming a director in 2001.
Morris and the management team acquired the company with funding from Barclays Ventures in 2007. Barclays also funded the £4m acquisition of Westbury Filters and Filtermation in 2008.
Howorth now employs 85 people and according to Parkin it will be relocating to new premises in the Bolton area during 2010.
Howorth Air Technology designs manufactures and installs ultra clean air systems and ancillary products for operating theatres and clean air containment solutions for the pharmaceutical industry.