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Truck firm steps in to buy Grantham company Fruehauf and save 120 jobs with an extra £30 million investment promised

The future of Grantham tipping trailer and truck body manufacturer Fruehauf and its 120 employees look to have been saved after being bought from administration by another company.

Specialist truck provider MV Commercial has stepped in to buy the company. The landmark deal includes an immediate cash injection and a commitment to a further £30m investment over the next three years, as part of ambitious plans to modernise the manufacturing facility and realise the full potential of its 67-acre site.

Tom O’Rourke, chief executive officer of MV Commercial, said: “This is a hugely significant day for both businesses; and quite simply an opportunity we couldn’t turn down. Fruehauf has a fantastic product range, a rich heritage, and a wealth of talent within Grantham which will be complemented by our own strength and experience in the marketplace.

Fruehauf, based on Houghton Road. (50275688)
Fruehauf, based on Houghton Road. (50275688)

“With immediate effect we are starting work to scale production back up, enabling us to commit to a delivery schedule for outstanding customer orders and begin building new stock trailers for MV’s own contract hire and ready-to-go fleets.”

MV Commercial plans to open a truck sales and rental facility on site in Grantham within the next month. It says work will begin within days to refurbish much of the site.

Steven Cairns, managing director of MV Commercial, said: “Fruehauf is a major local employer and we will be transferring 100 per cent of the current workforce under TUPE. We also have a clear ambition to grow our presence on site. Grantham is the perfect fit for us, and the longer-term goal is to bring additional employment and apprenticeship opportunities to the town.”

Production capacity within the factory should quickly reach 15 to 20 trailers again per week under MV’s stewardship, with plans for the workforce – many of whom have been furloughed in recent months – to return to their jobs swiftly.

Sir Richard Tollemache of Buckminster Estates, which owns the land the Fruehauf factory sits on, says: “I am absolutely thrilled to have MV Commercial taking on this business, and at their vision for developing a transport industry hub within Grantham.

“It is essential that we secure jobs and future employment opportunities for the area as without employment, there’s no point in building the new housing which is being proposed. This investment and commitment from MV Commercial is precisely what we need and will help contribute to the revitalisation of our town centre.”

MV Commercial employs 190 staff spread across five sites. It has previously acquired the assets of two major rental businesses – Regal Truck Rental and TLS – plus in 2015 it acquired bodybuilder JWR Recovery Trucks.

MV Commercial says it hopes to revive the legendary ‘Crane Fruehauf’ name, by which the business was known until around 1998. The rebranding is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

In November 2020 MV Commercial was named as one of the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’.

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