Oil firm opens site in EU to beat Brexit 'devastation'
A Derbyshire lubricant company has launched its Brexit back-up plan by opening a distribution centre in Europe.
Aztec Oils in Bolsover has opened a site in Lithuania, which will be used to supply its products to the Baltic states, Poland and Scandinavia.
A passionate Remainer, managing director, Mark Lord, said: “I’ve done all I could to fight Brexit, however, I’m still a businessman and in order to keep my company buoyant I had to develop a back-up plan in the event of unfavourable trading conditions from the UK after October 31.
“MB Aztec Oils Baltic has been in the planning ever since Brexit was announced in 2016. As well as being a distribution centre, the new offices also have the capabilities to start manufacturing our product range for members of the European Union.
“I honestly believe that leaving Europe is going to be devastating for this country. As the deadline fast approaches, it’s looking more likely we’ll be leaving without a trade deal in place, so I’m glad we drew up a plan from the start.
“I’ve been open with my staff from the very beginning and I’m doing all I can to avoid redundancies, but at the very least some employees may have to move overseas if they wish to stay with the company.”
Aztec Oils has about 20 per cent of its business in the Republic of Ireland which will remain in the European Union.
Mark is concerned that post-Brexit increased tariffs, transport and administration could see the company unable to retain its business, as European competitors will be able to undercut its prices.
Aztec Oils manufactures and distributes high-performance lubricants to a wide range of industrial sectors, including Pakistan, Iraq, Ghana and Ukraine.
The firm prides itself on being able to supply industrial lubricants for even the harshest environment.
Aztec was established in 1995 by Mark and initially operated from a shed on the Bolsover site.
It has grown steadily and made a number of acquisitions in recent years including Midlands-based Oiline Ltd in 2010, Northern Oils in Scotland in 2016, and Netherlands-based OWT Services BV earlier this year. Overall, the company now employs 110.
Aztec Oils bought Northern Oils, the lubricant division of Impact Trading Ltd, securing 17 jobs, following Impact entering administration in June 2016.
Northern Oils become the Scottish trading division of Aztec. Aztec is currently advertising for a salesperson in Scotland.