Job losses could hit engineering firm in bid to secure future

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Historic Sheffield heavy engineering business DavyMarkham has new owners following a multi-million deal that secures its future – but at a cost of up to 35 jobs.

Industrial group Hughes Armstrong has acquired a controlling stake from Indian group IVRCL and promises to invest millions in the company over the next three years.

But new chief executive Stephen Lord warned it was a loss-making operation that was “haemorrhaging” money and would have to be restructured.

The plan was to invest in training and updating “antiquated but well-maintained” machinery to target the nuclear, defence and oil and gas sectors.

The 180-year-old company, based on Prince of Wales Road, Darnall, has a £15m turnover and employs 180 people.

Mr Lord said: “We will look to take a great name forward and re-establish it in the field of heavy engineering.

It was viewed as non-core for a number of years by a series of parent companies – our view is the opposite.

“The business was up for sale, having known it going back to my university days, it is very highly regarded, particularly in mining and tunnelling and supporting the British steel industry.

“But it is haemorrhaging money and in my view would have ceased to trade.

“There will be a restructure of the company and we are in negotiations with the unions.

“To significantly grow the business it needs to be transformed.”

DavyMarkham has a track-record of delivering high-profile strategic engineering projects around the world to major customers including Tata Steel, Rolls-Royce, ABB and GE, he added.

DavyMarkham’s former owner Endless sold its investment to IVRCL in 2010 following a turnaround in its fortunes.