1. ITV Report

Darren Donnelly withdraws from Wrightbus purchase

Wrightbus said it is in talks with a number of investors. Credit: Press Eye

Northern Ireland businessman Darren Donnelly has withdrawn from discussions about purchasing Wrightbus.

He had emerged as the potential buyer of the Ballymena-based bus manufacturer, but is now no longer pursuing the purchase.

A spokesperson for Mr Donnelly said: “Whilst discussions had been ongoing over the past number of weeks, Mr Donnelly has confirmed that he has withdrawn from the process and is no longer pursuing the potential purchase of the Wrightbus company.

“Mr Donnelly has no further comment to make at this time.”

Wrightbus was founded back in 1946 and has grown to employ around 1,400 people, making it one of Northern Ireland’s biggest privately-owned employers.

It confirmed in July that it is seeking new investors, after reports sparked concern among the workforce.

In a statement on Monday, the company said: “We are now in advanced discussions with a limited number of investors.

“We are optimistic and are working hard towards getting the best possible outcome for the skilled workforce we have in Ballymena, UK mainland, Ireland and our international territories.

“Wrights Group is world class and recognised for the technology it brings to the marketplace.

“We will ensure that staff are kept informed throughout this process.

“Due to the commercial nature of these final discussions, we are unable to comment further until the process is completed.”