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Turnaround deal saves Aaron Plant

3 Aug 12 Aaron Plant Services has been rescued from administration in a deal that has saved 19 jobs.

The company fell into financial difficulties and was the subject of a winding-up petition from HM Revenue & Customs. Dean Nelson of Midlands accountancy firm Smith Cooper was appointed as administrator on 25 July 2012.

The Ilkeston plant hire and bulk earthmoving contractor was formed in 1997 and experienced year-on-year growth with turnover between £2.5m and £3m until 2008.

It ran into financial difficulties as work slowed in the downturn. Despite numerous attempts by the directors to reduce overheads and improve cashflow, the company began to fall into arrears with HM Revenue & Customs.

Prospects picked up a little in late 2011 and early 2012 as trading began to improve andh the rest of 2012 also looked promising for the company, Smith Cooper said. However, the exceptional rainfall in spring and summer washed away all hope.

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The team at Smith Cooper marketed the business and on 30 July 2012 completed the sale of the business to newly-formed Aaron Contracting Ltd, assisted by Mike Gilmour, restructuring and insolvency partner at law firm Freeth Cartwright.

Smith Cooper said that Aaron Plant Services managing director Alan Smith was part of the management team of the new company. Aaron Contracting continues to trade from the premises at Lady Lea Industrial Estate in Horsley Woodhouse as a plant hire and earthmoving contractor.

"I am pleased that the acquisition of the business and assets has completed so quickly – ensuring the future of the Aaron Plant business and 19 of its employees – and I am grateful for the assistance and support of both Neil King at Cedar & Co and Rachel McCahill-Brown at the Smith Partnership," Mr Smith said.

Dean Nelson of Smith Cooper added: "The sale to Aaron Contracting ensures the sale of the business and assets and protects the livelihoods of a majority of the employees. At a time when the Midland's construction industry has suffered continuous blows, it is good news that the business has been saved and jobs protected.”

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