A Black Country manufacturer that has been trading since the 19th century has collapsed.
Historic Black Country business, Griffin Bros (Dudley) which dates back to 1898 and was led by the fifth generation of the Griffin family, is now in the hands of joint administrators Adrian Graham and Julian Pitts of the Sheffield office of corporate recovery specialists Begbies Traynor.
Begbies Traynor was called in after the directors decided to cease trading, making the entire 13-strong workforce redundant.
Based at 10 Wellington Road, Dudley, Griffin Bros (Dudley) had a turnover between £600,000 and £700,000.
It manufactured pails, kegs and drums, bins and containers for industrial use, particularly the automotive sector.
But at one stage it also supplied the wine trade and a host of other industries, with customers across the UK. It had also built up an export market for a number of products.
Mr Graham said Griffin Bros (Dudley) had been hit by the difficult economic climate. “There was a downturn in the level of business, squeezed margins and rising debts.”
He said Begbies Traynor had been approached by a number of interested parties – some keen to purchase the assets as a whole and others eyeing only the buildings and machinery.
“We will be assessing these offers with a view to maximising the return to creditors,” said Mr Graham.
He added that the firm’s accreditation with the United Nations was a significant attraction for some inquirers.
It was in January 1898 that William and Moses Griffin founded the business in their home town of Dudley. Initially the brothers began manufacturing steel chimney liners and steel storage pans for the nut and bolt industry.
Production began out of the backyard of their home which once stood on the current 18,000 sq m site. From these modest beginnings the company grew over the years and adapted the product range to suit changing industrial demands.
Such was its success that manufacturing swallowed up most of the homes and shops that once existed there.
Mr Graham said: “Given this heritage what has happened is very sad. But it is an opportunity for others to take a good hard look at the operation and consider the possibilities.”