Time Computers back in business

Six months after Time Computers slid into administration, a new company with a new name has emerged in the same factory, backed by two of the original founders

Time Computers, which sank into administration last summer leaving debts of £70m and the loss of more than 500 jobs, rose from the ashes last week as a new company, Time UK Factory.

According to the Lancashire Evening Telegraph,  the new company, which is backed by two of the original founders of Time Computers, Dr Tariq Mohammed and Tahir Mohsan, plans to produce PCs and large screen televisions in what was the Time Computers factory at Simonstone near Burnley.

Granville Technology Group (GTG), the parent company of Time Computers, has been in administration since July 2005.

A spokesman for the administrators, Grant Thornton, confirmed that the Time name had been sold as part of the disposal of GTG's assets, and said that the company that bought it "had nothing whatsoever to do with the previous owners".

MPs have called for an inquiry into the collapse of Granville amid claims that millions of pounds are unaccounted for. However, the Grant Thornton spokesman told ZDNet UK that "there is no suggestion that money has been shooting off all over the place".

Another asset of GTG was the Tiny Computers name, which was sold to Watford Electronics in November. Tiny Computers had been acquired by GTG after it had first gone into administration some years previously. Grant Thornton were also the administrators on that occasion.

The Mohsans sold their interest in GTG/Time Computers some time before the company went into administration. The Mohsans had been heavily criticised for their stewardship of Time Computers by employees of the company. Some have claimed that the Mohsans had continued to be involved with the various Time/Tiny/GTG companies after severed formal ties with the companies.

The resumption of manufacturing at Simonstone could be good news for many of the ex-employees of GTG who have been out of work since the plant closed down. However, the thousands of customers who lost money when GTG went into administration have no more hope of recovering their money.

Brian Trevaskiss, a spokesman for the new company, told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph that the Time factory "is up and running and our direct sales operation will be starting in February or the beginning of March.

"We currently have around 30 employees, but we expect this to grow when we begin the direct sales operation."

Mr Trevaskiss said the company would not rule out taking on former employees or some of those made redundant at the nearby Philips TV glass factory last year.

Prior to the collapse of GTG, Trevaskiss was the marketing director of Tiny.com.