Jensen rescue bid runs out of road

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The Independent Online
A RESCUE plan for the Jensen sports car company has stalled and liquidators are asking for renewed bids.

The sale of Jensen to a mystery business consortium was announced by the accountants Grant Thornton in December. It was said the group planned to revive the company, which in the 1950s employed 3,000 people, and restart production of the Jensen Interceptor.

Grant Thornton's Roy Welsby said: 'I cannot say that I am terribly confident that I will sell to these people. I have not seen the money yet.'

The mystery buyers - said to be UK executives - insisted on confidentiality and Mr Welsby did not know their identity. He had been negotiating through Jensen's general manager, David Heseltine.

Mr Welsby said: 'We have exchanged contracts and should have completed in December. I have not yet rescinded the contract but am going back to other interested parties.'

He could not say why the deal looks to have failed, once again threatening the survival of a historic motor industry name, but it is believed to involve a dispute over rights to the Jensen-Healey name.

After its Fifties heyday, Jensen faded into relative obscurity, eventually only making cars to order. Former Jensen owners include Clark Gable, Tony Curtis and Cliff Richard.

Jensen's owner, Stockport-based Unicon Holdings, called in the liquidator last September.

Peter Gardner, whose Garston Machine Tool makes Jensen parts, tried to buy the company and negotiated with the Department of Trade and Industry for financial help. He said this week that he would again consider bidding.

(Photograph omitted)

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