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James Donaldson buys assets of Palgrave Brown

Timber supplier James Donaldson & Sons has bought the assets of Palgrave Brown which plunged into administration last month making 450 staff redundant.

Fife-based Donaldson has snapped up all the land, buildings, plant machinery and stock at the business in Chorley safeguarding 40 jobs.

BDO Stoy Hayward were appointed as administrators for Palgrave Brown on 4 November.

The site will trade as Alfred Hulme, the original name of the Chorley company when it started on the current site around 1919.

One of the UK’s largest manufacturers of timber engineered products, Palgrave Brown was hit hard by the downturn in the construction industry and went into administration in early November.

Strong performance from all its operating divisions in recent years has seen Donaldson, which in 2010 celebrates its 150th anniversary, achieve turnover of nearly £100 million.

While not escaping the downturn of the construction industry, bosses say the business has avoided the worst with its policy of ensuring a broad spread of customers across different industry sectors.

Chairman Neil Donaldson says Alfred Hulme will play a key role in his company’s ambitions in the North of England.

He said: “The Chorley site was rightly being sold as a going concern as it has good facilities, a skilled workforce and geographically is well positioned to help us grow strongly once the economic conditions improve.

“Customers of the site can rest assured that they will continue to receive the same excellent service and will have access to the current product range.

“In 2009, our aim is to enhance this service by increasing the product range on offer.

“I am pleased we have been able to safeguard local jobs in the area and we look forward to working well with the latest additions to our team.”