Staff at TBF Thompson (Garvagh) Ltd were informed this week of a management buy out.
The Coleraine Times can exclusively reveal that senior employees, new Managing Director, Raymond Crilly alongside directors Alan Espie and Seamus Doherty have purchased the well known company.
Last week, staff were told of the sale, but reassured that there would be no major changes in the business.
The statement to staff read: “Going forward, we have retained all of the major franchises and are delighted with the franchisor’s support in our new venture.
“We do not envisage any major changes in the business operation and we will be looking at ways to grow the business to ensure profitability, stability and continuity of employment.
“These are exciting times and we hope that, with your support, the TBF Thompson name will continue to be at the forefront of the plant and commercial vehicle business in Northern Ireland for many years to come.”
In the letter, the new management team also wished the out going Managing Director, Andy Magowan, well in his retirement: “Following the sale, Andy Magowan is retiring and I trust you will join us in wishing Andy a long, happy and healthy retirement.
“We wish to give Andy our sincere thanks for all of his hard work, advice and encouragement over the years.”
TBF Thompson has four depots in Northern Ireland - two in Mallusk, one in Portadown and the local plant and Commercial site in Garvagh.
The well known firm has over 150 employees.
The TBF Thompson name has been synonymous with Garvagh since the early Fifties. Thomas Bacon French Thompson (TBF) turned the business into a limited company with the creation of TBF Thompson (Garvagh) Ltd in 1958.
In 1985 TBF retired, however the company continued under the leadership of Andy Magowan, who had joined the company in 1969 as assistant accountant.
He then became the accountant in 1971 and a director in 1974. The Leyland DAF dealership was acquired in 1995 with the purchase of GMS.
Since acquiring the DAF Trucks franchise, the commercial vehicle side of the business has gone from strength to strength.
In May 2001 the premises at the DAF depot in Mallusk were extended and refurbished, and 2004 saw the relocation of the Portadown depot to purpose built premises.
The Plant Division leads the industry in Northern Ireland with machinery leading brands such as Hitachi Excavators, Bomag Rollers and Compaction Equipment, Thwaites Dumpers and Palfinger Cranes.