<P>Administrators of Blackpool Automotive Limited – the defunct manufacturing arm of sportscar maker TVR Motors -have sold the main assets of the company for an undisclosed sum to a company controlled by original owner Nikolai Smolensky, a Russian entrepreneur.

The sale included the TVR trademarks, certain vehicle stock, work-in-progress, and the manufacturing plant and equipment, joint administrators Philip Long, Kerry Bailey and Matthew Gibson of accountancy firm PKF said in a statement.

“Having advertised the assets of the company to the open market, we are confident we have achieved the best possible price in the circumstances and we are now looking to return money to the creditors as quickly as possible,” the administrators said.

“While we had a significant number of companies expressing an interest, four demonstrated they had the funds required to enter a bidding process. Ultimately, Mr Smolensky’s company came in with the highest offer.”

Smolenski bought the Blackpool-based automaker of specialty hand-built cars in 2004 and subsequently split TVR into three units: TVR Motors, which owns the brand and intellectual property rights, manufacturing arm Blackpool Automotive and parts supplier TVR Power.

TVR Power was sold in a management buyout and Blackpool Automotive went to new ownership but was placed in administration in December and its 250 workers were laid off. There had been speculation production would be transferred to a contract assembler in Europe.

The Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) told the NNC it was absurd the Russian tycoon was allowed to buy Blackpool Automotive back.

Andy Robertson, the union’s regional organiser, told the broadcaster: “If this means that manufacturing is taken out of Blackpool it will be a disaster for the area. It is absurd that the previous owner, who allowed it to go into administration, is now once again the owner.

“The government should not allow this practice to take place. The workforce will be extremely angry and disappointed that Mr Smolenski has been able to walk away unscathed while they have suffered so much.”

TGWU officials told the BBC that the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry had paid out redundancy and notice pay, and pensions were still being looked into.