A FIRM providing furniture and fixtures for the hospitality and leisure sector has sold part of its business.
Elland-based Andy Thornton Ltd, has sold its joinery projects division to Wakefield firm PDS Design & Build.
The division, which creates prestigious interiors for pubs, hotels, bars and restaurants, will continue to operate from its current manufacturing based at Ainleys Industrial Estate.
This will safeguard the jobs of its 52-strong workforce and it will trade under the name Andy Thornton Contracts Ltd.
Charles Tolley, managing director of Andy Thornton Ltd, said the new business would benefit from a healthy order book extending well into 2012.
Projects in the pipeline include a major fit-out of the new American Express head office in Brighton, a refurbishment at the five-star Chester Grosvenor Hotel and substantial export orders from India and Finland.
Mr Tolley said: “Despite the ongoing difficult economic conditions, this strategic development provides an excellent opportunity for both companies going forward.
“The new company will benefit from the addition of senior management support to the existing highly skilled local workforce, whilst the existing company, with its strong brand identity, will be able to concentrate on developing its extensive product range to an international market.
“These are exciting times with much potential for both Andy Thornton Ltd and Andy Thornton Contracts Ltd.”
Andy Thornton Ltd will continue with its primary business interests – supplying contract furniture and accessories, decorative lighting, antiques and architectural metalwork for the hospitality, retail and domestic markets.
The company will operate from a head office and warehouse on the Rosemount Estate in Elland and its flagship showroom at Victoria Mills in Greetland.
Mr Tolley said: “This company has a solid order book, with many well-known high street brands, such as JD Wetherspoon, Nandos and Cafe Nero, as regular customers.
“We remain confident for the future.
“And with such high profile events as the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and the London Olympics, the UK hospitality market is buoyant.”
Andy Thornton Ltd was advised on the deal by Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors while PDS Design & Build was represented by Blacks Solicitors and Montpelier Chartered Accountants. Finance for the new venture provided by Handlesbanken.
Andy Thornton Ltd was established in 1975 when entrepreneurs Andy and Kate Thornton began exporting architectural antiques to restaurants and bars in America.
Over the next 35 years, the business expanded and diversified to supply products including furniture, lighting, architectural metalwork and stained glass to hotels, bars and restaurants worldwide.
PDS Design & Build, established in 1998 and based at Wakefield’s Calder Park, is a market leader in providing design and construction services to the leisure and retail industries.
Its clients have included pub groups Greene King, Punch Taverns, the Slug & Lettuce chain, WH Smith and Pret-A-Manger.