Levy Gee seeks buyer for aeroplane maker

Bankers for the leading Isle of Wight manufacturer have appointed Levy partners Chris Laughton and Maurice Moses as joint administrative receivers to oversee a sell-off.

Bosses at the Bembridge Airport-based aircraft design, manufacture and overhaul specialists sought new investors for months, but a severe cash flow crisis finally forced closure.

Laughton of Levy Gee said: ‘This is a very regrettable situation for a company with a good order book and requisite approvals from the Civil Aviation Authority and Ministry of Defence.’

Established in the 1950s by two crop spray engineers as a manufacturer of rugged and low cost multi-purpose light aircraft, Britten-Norman built a worldwide reputation with its high wing piston-engined Islander series, and its military Defender and three engine Trislander variants.

The company’s latest development, the Defender 4000 , was launched at the Farnborough International Air Show in 1994 and up to 800 of its aircraft are in service around the world.

Redundancy notices have been issued to 112 workers, while a 21 strong skeleton staff will be retained as the Levy partners looks for a buyer.

Laughton added: ‘Time is of the essence to conclude a deal which we hope may reverse some of the job losses.’

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