15 June 2001

Dowdeswell kit rights are sold to British buyer

By Mike Williams

DOWDESWELLS range of powered cultivators and bedmaking machinery has been taken over by Cambs-based root and vegetable equipment specialist Standen Engineering.

The list of machines covered by the deal includes Dowdeswell power harrows, the Powavator range of rotary cultivators and the Bedvator and Bedformer. As well as the existing stock of finished machines, Standen has also taken over the parts stock for current and older models and will be offering a full spares service.

Also included in the deal, which was negotiated with the Official Receiver, are all the machine tools, jigs, moulds and other production equipment. They have been removed from the former Dowdeswell factory at Harleston, Norfolk, to Standens premises in Ely, Cambs, where manufacturing is due to start later this year.

The Harleston part of the Dowdeswell business went into Receivership earlier this year, before the closure of the companys main operation in Warks was announced.

Andy Bone, managing director of Standen, told farmers weekly that his original plan was to buy the bedmaking machines only, but the chance to buy the rest of the powered tillage line was attractive, and he is "comfortable" with the price Standen had to pay.

"This range fits in very well with our existing products," he says. "Dowdeswell machines have an excellent reputation and are well engineered.

"They are also bought by the same sector of the farming industry that buys Standen potato and vegetable machinery. The cultivators will also provide our factory with extra work in the winter and early spring, which fits in well with our existing production schedule.

Under development

"Our purchase agreement also includes the rights to a number of new products which were under development when the Harleston factory was closed, which we hope to eventually put into production.

"We plan to have the parts service for Dowdeswell machines fully operational within a few days, and to ensure a smooth transition and provide us with essential product knowledge we are hoping to employ several key staff from the Harleston factory." &#42