Avocet calls in administrators

Published:  24 January, 2012

BRIGHOUSE: Andrew Stoneman and Ben Wiles, both of the Global Restructuring Advisory practice at financial advisory and investment banking firm Duff & Phelps, were appointed joint administrators of Avocet Hardware Limited on 23 January.

The company was established in 1978 and operates through three UK divisions: Builders Hardware, the UK’s leading supplier of fixings, fasteners and general ironmongery to the UK DIY retail sector; a Door & Window Hardware division, manufacturing door and window hardware and a High Security Lock division, established in 2010 to market an innovative high security door lock. Avocet employs a total of 150 people.

The Company operates out of a freehold property in Brighouse in West Yorkshire, a 90,000 square foot warehouse, a 33,000 square five story mill and an 11,000 square foot reception/showroom. Avocet was purchased by the current management team in a private equity backed management buyout in November 2007.

Mr Stoneman stated: “The UK hardware and fixing market is estimated to be worth some £220m a year. In December 2011, the company sold its loss making Chinese factory, which manufactured product for the Door & Window hardware division. The financial performance of the company in recent years has been adversely impacted by losses from the Chinese operation and by the insolvency of a major customer.”

“Discussions are on going with a number of different parties who wish to acquire all or parts of the business. This is a fantastic opportunity and anyone who is interested in the business should contact us immediately for further information. We are actively trying to identify a buyer and to rescue the jobs of the employees, ” he concluded.

Ian Jones, director, Avocet, added: “This has been a tough trading period as we have experienced a major contraction in the UK DIY market compounded by the insolvency of one of our largest clients. We are hopeful a buyer will be sought and we are working closely with Duff & Phelps to ensure we reach a satisfactory outcome for all concerned.”

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