Belfast Telegraph

Darren Donnelly pulls out of running to buy Wrightbus

Ballymena-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus is in takeover talks
Ballymena-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus is in takeover talks

By Mark McConville

Northern Ireland businessman Darren Donnelly has pulled out of the running to purchase Ballymena-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus.

The news comes after reports that the company could be forced to call in administrators if a rescue deal isn't secured within days. 

A spokesperson for Mr Donnelly confirmed that whilst he had emerged as the potential acquirer of Wrightbus, he has since withdrawn from discussions regarding the purchase of the company.

The spokesperson said: “Whilst discussions had been ongoing over the past number of weeks, Mr Donnelly has confirmed that he has withdrawn from the process and is no longer pursuing the potential purchase of the Wrightbus company. 

"Mr Donnelly has no further comment to make at this time.”

It is reported that Wrightbus needs a cash injection of around £30m to stay in business, with its parent company, Wrights Group, hiring professional services firm Deloitte in July to advise on talks with potential investors.

Wrights Group employs around 1,400 people.

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A spokesperson for Wrights Group said they are in "advanced discussions with a limited number of investors".

"We are optimistic and are working hard towards getting the best possible outcome for the skilled workforce we have in Ballymena, UK mainland and Ireland and our international territories," they added.

"Wrights Group is world class and recognised for the technology it brings to the marketplace. We will ensure that staff are kept informed throughout this process. Due to the commercial nature of these final discussions, we are unable to comment further until the process is completed."

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