A BRIGHOUSE company employing 150 people has gone into administration.
Avocet Hardware Ltd, which provides ironmongery, builders’ supplies and doors and windows, is continuing to trade as efforts get under way to find a buyer for the business.
Administrators from financial advisory and investment banking firm Duff & Phelps were appointed yesterday after Avocet Hardware was hit by financial difficulties.
Avocet Hardware was formed in 1978 and has three divisions – builders’ hardware supplying fixings, fasteners and general ironmongery to the UK DIY retail sector; a door and window hardware division making door and window hardware; and a high security lock division, established in 2010 to market an innovative high security door lock.
The company operates from premises at Brookfoot Mills, which include a 90,000sq ft warehouse, a 33,000sq ft five-storey mill and an 11,000sq ft reception and showroom.
Avocet was bought by the current management team in a private equity backed management buyout in November, 2007.
Andrew Stoneman, joint administrator at Duff & Phelps, said: “The UK hardware and fixing market is estimated to be worth some £220m per annum.
“In December, 2011, the company sold its loss-making Chinese factory, which manufactured product for the door and 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.”
He said: “Discussions are ongoing 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.”
Avocet director Ian Jones said: “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.”