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Heywood Williams refinancing saves more than 1,000 jobs

More than 1,000 jobs have been secured worldwide at Heywood Williams after the building products firm secured an eleventh hour refinancing deal.

Halifax-based Heywood Williams was forced to appoint administrators yesterday after shareholders rejected restructuring plans.

But a significant capital restructuring deal was struck with the group’s banks which included £21 million of debt being written off in return for an 80 per cent stake in the new group.

A further £6 million of new investment will be provided for the new Group from its UK banking syndicate.

Bosses said the actions implemented today will secure the future of the group’s operating companies.

The firm said it is business as usual with the same board and management teams in place across the group

Heywood Williams chief executive Robert Barr said:“This restructuring solution secures over 1,000 jobs, protects the members of the UK pension fund, and allows Heywood Williams, our suppliers, and our customers to continue with business as normal.

“The new group has a great future ahead and we look forward to guiding it into a period of growth as our markets start to recover.  The banks’ support demonstrates their faith in the strength of the underlying business.”

The banking syndicate (Lloyds Banking Group and National Australia Bank) has agreed to write off £21 million (nearly 40 per cent) of the group’s existing debt, which will significantly reduce future interest payments and strengthen the balance sheet.

No loan repayments will be made to the banks until the end of 2013.

The shares of Heywood Williams Group were delisted from the London Stock Exchange as of the start of trading today. 

Joint administrator Daniel Butters said: “This transaction brings to a close an uncertain time for Heywood Williams, a substantial and established business in the Yorkshire region.

“It provides certainty for the group, its employees and trading partners in Europe, the US and Asia.”