Company rescued – at a price

AN ESTABLISHED hardware firm has been rescued from administration - but at the cost of 42 jobs.

Avocet Hardware Ltd, which employed 150 people at its Brookfoot base, was bought by L Fibrelok and RTMV Jain Ltd, both operating companies of the Atlantic Group.

Andrew Stoneman and Benjamin Wiles, both of the global restructuring advisory practice Duff and Phelps, announced the successful sale.

Mr Stoneman said: “We are delighted with the outcome of this administration. Not only was Avocet sold as a going concern but we managed to secure the jobs of 108 employees.

“This is a fantastic result for all concerned.”

However, workers affected by the job losses, said the whole situation had been handled badly as employees were not kept informed about what was happening.

One said: “The situation has been dealt with terribly. We were not kept up to date about what was going on.

“There have been people who have worked there for 18 years and they have just been made redundant. It’s a disgrace how they and others have been treated.”

Avocet Hardware, a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of locks, handles and other hardware for windows and doors, become the Atlantic Group’s fourth acquisition in the UK in six years.

The company also took over Eliza Tinsley Ltd, one the UK’s leading suppliers of chain, rope, hardware and accessories, in 2006.

VK Jain, the chairman of the Atlantic Group said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have been able to complete the acquisition of the Avocet business which represents an exciting addition to the Atlantic Group.”

On January 23 this year, the company was placed into administration after it had been hit by the downturn in the market and because of a major client going under.