Bearings firm in administration

A SUFFOLK-based bearings company has gone into administration with the loss of 15 jobs, it was revealed yesterday. Oilite Bearings Ltd, based in Ipswich, which has been manufacturing self-lubricating bearings for more than 70 years, appointed Steven Law, a partner at Ensors Chartered Accountants, as administrator on Monday following a general decline in sales.

A SUFFOLK-based bearings company has gone into administration with the loss of 15 jobs, it was revealed yesterday.

Oilite Bearings Ltd, based in Ipswich, which has been manufacturing self-lubricating bearings for more than 70 years, appointed Steven Law, a partner at Ensors Chartered Accountants, as administrator on Monday following a general decline in sales.

“We are continuing to trade at Oilite Bearings Ltd whilst we review the options available and report to creditors,” said Mr Law yesterday.

“Unfortunately, due to the downturn in sales, we have had to lay off 15 staff but the intention remains to retain the remaining 17 staff and continue to trade whilst talks with potential purchasers are ongoing. We have already received a number of expressions of interest and I would urge any interested parties to contact me as soon as possible.”


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Paul Mitchell, Oilite's managing director, added: “Oilite is widely acknowledged as setting the industry standard for quality, reliability and performance and the remaining staff and management are working closely with the administrator to run the business as normal and continue to supply our customers.”

The patent for Oilite self-lubricating bearings, made from powdered metal, was taken out in 1930, with production moving to Elton Park, Ipswich, in 1949.

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For many years the business formed part of the components division of the Manganese Bronze company, now best known for making London's iconic black taxi cabs.

In 2003 the components division was sold to BSA Holdings, with Oilite Bearings Ltd becoming a stand-alone company as a result of a management buyout from BSA in 2006.

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