Belfast Telegraph

Wright firm reopens as purchase is completed by investor


Sale: Wrightbus composite building
Sale: Wrightbus composite building
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

A Wrightbus company has reopened to staff after it was bought out of administration.

Business Telegraph can reveal that investor Peter Drayne has snapped up Wright Composites, which produces mouldings and metal fabrications.

While Wright Composites is one of the group companies which had been put into administration, a sale was achieved on Friday separately from the deal to sell the main bus-building business to entrepreneur Jo Bamford.   Three staff returned to work at the business formerly known as Wright Composites yesterday but the new owner is expected to decide if more are needed. 

Mr Drayne, from Lisburn, is a brother of Michael Drayne of dairy business Draynes Farms.

Peter Drayne (64) is known mainly as a property investor, but on October 4 he set up a new company, Jans Composites, thought to be his vehicle for the Wrights purchase. It has a registered address in Lisburn.

Mr Drayne could not be reached for comment. Business adviser Deloitte, administrators to Wrights Group companies, was also not available for comment.

Wright Composites was identified early in the administration process as a company which could easily be detached and sold on.

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Just 50% of its workload was carried out for the bus business, with the remainder carried out for major businesses like Terex Corporation, MJM Group, Caterpillar, Donnelly Group and Camden Group.

At its peak, Wright Composites had 180 staff. However, it’s not clear whether the composites work is still being conducted at the former JTI Gallaher’s site.

Last week, Wrightbus ex-chief shareholder Jeff Wright announced he had reached an agreement to sell the JTI Gallaher’s site of which he is landlord to Mr Bamford, with 40 acres of the site to be gifted to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

A separate deal is being hammered out between Mr Bamford and Deloitte for the main Wrightbus business and other assets.

However, an announcement on that deal is not expected until the second half of this week.

Meanwhile, commercial property agents O’Connor Kennedy Turtle is selling the former composites factory at the old Wrightbus site at Galgorm at an asking price of £1.7m. 

The Metallix building is also on the market for £1.2m.  Both sites are still on the market.

Belfast Telegraph