Loss of customers blamed for closure

THE loss of three major customers brought about the sudden closure of Ipswich vehicle components company BSA Advanced Sintering, it has emerged.

THE loss of three major customers brought about the sudden closure of Ipswich vehicle components company BSA Advanced Sintering, it emerged yesterday.

A spokesman for administrators Ernst & Young, which made 104 staff at the factory redundant earlier this week, said it had become impossible for the firm to continue trading.

However, a union representing some of the staff affected condemned the administrators' failure to provide the statutory 90 days notice for such a large number of redundancies and said it was considering legal action.

Vicky Conybeer, spokeswoman for Ernst & Young, said: “The reason there was a sudden closure was that three key customers stopped buying and decided to source their products elsewhere. There was no way we could trade the business.”

However, Ian Marshall, regional officer for Amicus, which represents between 15 and 20 people at BSA Advanced Sintering, described the sudden closure announced to staff on Wednesday afternoon as “a disgrace”.

“It may well be we will be looking to go for a protective award, to try and enforce the 90-day period,” said Mr Marshall. “I need to check it with our legal people.”

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Mr Marshall added that until Wednesday he had believed the company still to be a viable proposition claimed that it had a £6million order book in the run-up to Christmas.

However, it is understood that major customers, who had continued to support the company while the administrators attempted to find a buyer for it as a going concern, became concerned at the lack of progress towards a deal and decided to ensure continuity of supply by sourcing their components from elsewhere.

One of these customers is thought to have accounted for 60% of the company's business.