‘We’re trying to secure their long term future’

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The administrator of the troubled manufacturing company, Schivo N.I. Ltd., which was the last operator of the former Maydown Precision Engineering (MPE) and Molins factories in Derry, has claimed that it is still seeking a way of securing the local engineering firm’s “long term future.”

Philip Duffy and Stephen Clancy, of Duff and Phelps, were appointed Administrators of Schivo NI Ltd. by the High Court in Belfast on January 5th last.

Later that day workers on the night shift at the factory in Maydown were controversially informed of the administration, for what the trade union Unite said, was the first time such a subject had been mooted.

Last week it was confirmed that at least 30 workers had been made redundant at the plant and that these staff would now have to apply for the minimum statutory payments.

The ‘Journal’ understands that since then, further redundancies have been announced, and that now approximately half of the 83 workers employed at the start of the year are being let go.

Notwithstanding these difficulties and fears that the factory is set to close the administrators have told this paper that they are still trying to identify an eleventh hour white knight buyer, which would be able to secure the remaining jobs at the factory.

In a statement Duff and Phelps said they have already engaged with Schivo N.I. Ltd’s former customers, some of whom have agreed that outstanding orders at the plant be completed by the remaining workers, while a new buyer is still being sought.

A spokesperson for Duff and Phelps said: “Following discussions with key customers of Schivo N.I., we have been successful in securing their support to continue trading the business whilst the business and assets are actively marketed for sale.”

The administrators also signalled that they do not want the factory to close although this is what is now feared.

“We plan to keep the remaining employees on throughout this process as we seek to secure the long term future of their employment and the firm,” a spokesperson for Duff and Phelps stated.

There has been an engineering presence on the site since 1964,