A POOLE-based engineering company has confirmed a “small number” of employees are at risk of redundancy following a buyout by a Japanese investor.

Air Bearings Limited, based on the Nuffield Industrial Estate, confirmed the shake-up is taking place after being contacted by the Daily Echo.

The numbers of employees who could be affected is believed to be less than 20.

According to the company’s website it currently employs more than 140 highly skilled workers.

A statement from HR manager Sarah King, released yesterday confirmed: “Yesterday, Air Bearings Limited announced a business restructure resulting in a small number of employees being put at risk of redundancy. At this time we are in a consultation phase with these individuals.

“Air Bearings Limited was bought by a Japanese investor in November 2013.

“Our business strategy remains focused on driving sales for existing products in a difficult market and the development of new products into new markets.”

Air Bearings Limited was founded in 1993 as Precise Air Bearings. Three years later two of the three founding partners decided to relinquish their share after the company came to the attention of Hitatchi Via Mechanics (HVM).

According to the company’s website, after the final share holder retired in 2010, HVM went onto own 100 per cent of the company.

In November, last year, Air Bearings Limited was bought out by The Longreach Company, becoming Via Mechanics Ltd while remaining to trade under their current name.

The company’s Witney Road building is a 4,600 square metre purpose-built facility.