A BRIGHOUSE company which went into administration has been saved by the man who sold it for £7m last year.
Gordon Fawthrop founded shopfitting and specialist joinery GF Group and sold it in 2009 to a management buy-out last year.
But rising costs and a massive downturn in business forced it into administration earlier this year.
Now Mr Fawthrop has returned and the business has been bought from the administrators by a consortium backed by him and a team of former directors.
About 90 employees from the 120-strong workforce lost their jobs when the firm went into administration in February and the hope is that it will employ a lot more in the coming months.
The new owners have safeguarded 30 jobs with the move and aims to get the business ‘back to full strength’ when market conditions allow. This raises hopes that many of those made redundant will be able to rejoin the firm.
Charles Brook and Peter Sargent from insolvency firm Begbies Traynor were appointed joint administrators and immediately began to market the firm as a going concern.
After weeks of talks with several potential buyers, Mr Fawthrop and a group of former colleagues have been able to secure the assets and goodwill of the business and will continue to trade as GF Interiors.
The new company will be headed by Mr Fawthrop as chairman and David Morton as managing director.
Mr Morton said: “We have worked very hard to put together the right deal to take the business of GF Group out of the hands of administrators.
“We now have the opportunity to rebuild a great business which we have all spent many years developing.
“It is devastating that over the past months so many of our colleagues have lost their jobs and we are determined to get this firm back to full strength as soon as the market allows.”
Mr Brook said: “GF had a fantastic brand within its sectors and there was considerable interest and competition from potential buyers.
“The management’s previous knowledge of the company and its secure funding mean that we can be confident the business has a bright future under the continued direction of the people who founded and grew it prior to the 2009 management but-out deal.”
The administrators were advised in the sale by Leeds-based lawyers, Lee & Priestley. The buyers were advised by Huddersfield law firm Baxter Caulfield.
GF Interiors, based at Gooder Lane, was founded in 1979 and specialises in fitting out bars, restaurants and hotels. Clients include Nandos and Frankie & Benny’s