One of the UKâs biggest manufacturing companies (Retlan) has been sold to a Chinese firm.
Retlan Manufacturing, which trades under the name SDC Trailers, has been purchased for an undisclosed fee by CIMC Vehicles.
Based in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, they also have a Nottinghamshire based plant and employs almost 1,000 people. In its latest accounts it posted a profit for the year of £8.5 million. The company specialises in lorry trailers and among its clients are a number of major supermarket chains.
The organisation was mainly owned by JJ Donnelly and his family, while Mark Cuskeran (chief executive) also held a sizeable stake.
CIMC Vehicles is part of a Shenzhen-based group which has a turnover of around £8 billion each year, while it has also been confirmed that the current Retlan management team will remain in place.
The firm also revealed that there are plans in place to increase its sales of exports after the CIMC takeover.
Retlan Group chief executive, Mark Cuskeran, said that this acquisition is a key forward step for the Retlan Group and in particular SDC Trailers.
He believes that the takeover is a key opportunity for the organisation and its staff as it looks to the future, adding that they have been impressed by the new ownersâ approach to the deal, with the company now anticipating a significant growth period on a global scale.
Retlan was founded in 1978 in Toombridge and generated £198 million of sales in the last financial year.
Meanwhile, CIMC Vehicles Board General Manager and Director, David Li, commented that they are pleased to have taken over the Retlan Group and he believes the acquisition marks an exciting new era in its history.
He added that CIMC is looking forward to working with the current management team as they look to continue their tradition of high quality manufacturing based in the UK.