WA split for business
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• A consortium of investors looks set to buy the Walter Alexander Group in a deal worth million. Spotlaunch, the company formed to make the bid, will pull the Falkirk coachbuilding division out of the group, allowing it to trade once more as a separate company.
The new chief executive for the coachbuilding business, Ian Galloway, will run it with the current managing director, Wesley Keys. Galloway was formerly managing director of RHP Bearings.
Spotlaunch is offering 113p a share, with a partial cash preference share option which could give Spotlaunch up to 70% of Alexander's equity if all investors took it up.
The jobs of the 800 staff at the coachworks are believed to be safe for the moment, and the eventual plan is to float the company off separately.
The other principal division in the Alexander Group, Domnick Hunter Filters, is also being set up as a separate company. The Alexander family will retain a stake in the new business; Ronald and Cyril Alexander become non-executive directors of Spotlaunch. Alexander's pre-tax profits tumbled from £1.32 million to 291,000 in the six months to September 1989.