Glen Dimplex move good news for Goblin Ireland
JOB prospects were looking a good deal brighter at Goblin Ireland, in Tralee yesterday after Glen Dimplex confirmed the acquisition of the European operations of Shop Vac Corporation, including the vacuum cleaner manufacturing plant in Tralee.
The normally secretive Glen Dimplex, now a major manufacturer of domestic appliances in Europe, has not said how much it paid for the business, which had net assets of £17m at the end of December and generated sales of £47m last year. Industry estimates have ranged from £10m to £20m.
Sean O'Driscoll, deputy chief executive of Glen Dimplex, said the group would retain the Goblin manufacturing unit, which has had something of a cloud hanging over it for a while. Employment in Tralee has been reduced from a peak 250 to about 170 at present following a difficult start to 1998 for Shop Vac in Europe.
Sales declined by 25pc in the first four months of the year and were badly dented by the loss of a major order from Turkey.
Glen Dimplex, one of Europe's leading producers of floor care and heating products, already runs a major manufacturing facility in Germany and the fear was it would transfer production out of Tralee. The Germany unit, employing 220 people, manufacturers floor care products under the Eio and Morphy Richards brands.
Mr O'Driscoll ruled out a transfer, saying: ``We need to invest in new products. This will mean taking what they have (in Tralee) and upgrading them.''
Group production of smaller electrical items, including irons and trouser presses under the Morphy Richards brand, is concentrated at Nexborough, in Yorkshire, where 900 of Glen Dimplex's 6,000 employees are located.
Shop Vac put its European operations up for sale before the end of last year and a buy-out by the Tralee management was an option considered for a while. Glen Dimplex became interested around March and had a good look at the business.
It has also acquired selling and distribution companies in England, France, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.