The three-strong management team - managing director Martin Dixon and directors Damien Lynch and Richard Wallwork - have purchased 100% of the shareholding for an undisclosed sum.
The original company 422 Ltd, which had facilities in London, Bristol and Manchester before the Barcud buyout, had a difficult couple of years with concerns over payment to freelancers and rumours of financial difficulties ( Broadcast, 22.8.02).
Asked whether the company was still suffering Wallwork said: "By no stretch of the imagination could it be said that 422 Manchester is in trouble. We have bought what is a profitably trading company." He added: "We believed that it was the best thing for the company and a good opportunity. We have all worked together for a while, turning 422 into good shape."
Wallwork denied that there were any problems with the relationship with Barcud, saying that "they were in a different marketplace. 422 was attractive to them because we had a profile. But we feel it is in our best interests [to complete the MBO]."
Negotiations over the sale have been taking place for six months. Wallwork said the day-to-day operation and the 23 staff will be unaffected.
422 Manchester's credits include titles for Mastermind,graphics for Sky One's Back to the Beachand editing and compositing on Hot Animation's Rubbadubbers.