Neil Kirk, Howard Basford managing director, says that while both sites have performed well since they were acquired, they are smaller than the typical bodyshop associated with the firm.
"In acquiring the sites in 2000, it had been our intention to relocate the business to larger units," he says. "After the withdrawal of Ford as a shareholder following the management buyout in October 2002 it was difficult to anticipate when the required funding of approaching £3m to complete the original vision might have been possible."
Kirk adds that there will be no redundancies as all employees are being transferred under the sale arrangements.
Howard Basford, which acquired the 80 per cent stake held by Ford last year, reported pre-tax losses of £1.93m on turnover of £16.6m for the 12 months to December 31, 2001, compared to a loss of £900,236 on a turnover of £13.75m for 2000.
The company has also announced talks with business gurus Partnership Solutions to create a new training operation for the automotive sector. The joint-venture project will encompass advice and training.