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Aston Martin and Bentley contract cull sparks fears for 500 Formaplex jobs

The termination of contracts with car manufacturers Aston Martin and Bentley has triggered fears for hundreds of Hampshire-based manufacturing jobs.

Sky News has learnt that the two premium automotive groups decided in recent months to end contracts with Formaplex, a Portsmouth-headquartered company which makes components

Formaplex's 500 staff were sent home on Tuesday while administrators at Alvarez & Marsal seek a buyer for the business.

One insider said that other customers of the company, including Lotus and McLaren, were now being approached to provide sufficient funding to enable it to continue trading through the insolvency process.

Offers for Formaplex, which manufactures lightweight components for leading companies in the automotive, aerospace, medical and defence sectors, are expected to be sought by A&M in an expedited sale process.

Until its collapse, the company was owned by Elaghmore, a private equity firm, which acquired it in 2021.

"Every effort is being made to save the business and as many jobs as possible," the administrators said.

"Formaplex's employees have been sent home to enable a full stocktake to be carried out.

"Active discussions with the company's customers have begun, with a view to securing funding for the continued trading of the business whilst a buyer is sought over the coming weeks.

"These initial discussions have been constructive."

An Aston Martin spokesperson said: "Aston Martin continually monitors the performance of its suppliers, including from a financial perspective, in order to protect the continued production of its vehicles.

"In line with its procurement processes, Aston Martin ended its supplier relationship with Formaplex in December 2023."