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Peterhead Textile Firm Sold By Administrators

Joint administrators, Ken Pattullo and Paul Dounis, of Begbies Traynor have announced the sale of the non-property assets and goodwill of the spinning business of Smiths of Peterhead Ltd that operated from Mintlaw in a deal that will eventually recover over £400,000 for creditors of the firm that was placed in administration in February.

Touch Interactive Ltd, which is owned by Christian Rodland, the son of Smith’s of Peterhead’s former owner Marion Shildrick will operate the spinning business of Smiths of Peterhead from the firm’s Mintlaw factory. Unfortunately the doors have been closed on the firm’s other weaving centre at Buchan Braes, Boddam with the loss of around 20 skilled textile jobs due to lack of work and turnover.

“Despite negotiation with several potential buyers, no offer was received that allowed us to sell the entire business retaining both factories and save all the jobs. With intense pressure on us to cease trading at Smiths altogether, and no reserves of cash to continue to pay wages, regrettably we had no choice but to close the Boddam factory with the very sad loss of 20 jobs.

“Regrettably this was the best outcome possible under the circumstances, and we hope the firm can re-establish its former success from new foundations, and grow from this reduced base,” said joint administrator Paul Dounis.

The 190 year old firm that was based at Kirkburn Mills since 1850 is one of the country’s leading manufacturers of woollen fabrics and knitwear yarns. It supplies leading fashion houses throughout Europe and the rest of the world including brands such as Gucci, Prada and Ralph Lauren. The business has had a presence in Scotland since 1818 and traded as Thomas Smith & Co prior to 2005.

Dounis added: “It is often the case that the best, or even only offer comes from an employee or former director of a business as they have the expertise, knowledge and confidence in the future of a business to fund a purchase. Mr Rodland’s knowledge of the Smiths of Peterhead, and the continuity that his involvement affords the new business will be invaluable in helping it to recover and grow again.”

Administrators have been actively marketing the business for some months, and despite significant interest shown in the firm, no offers were made for the whole business. The administrators will retain ownership of the factory at Mill Aden Mill that will be leased to the new owners for a period of two years with a further option to purchase the freehold if they are able to secure funding to do so.

Ken Pattullo

About the author

Ken Pattullo

Regional Managing Partner

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Ken joined the Glasgow office of Begbies Traynor in 2003, before overseeing the firm's expansion into further offices in Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Belfast. He previously worked at KPMG, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers in Scotland. He has a broad range of experience in Corporate Rescue and Recovery, as well as in turnaround and restructuring, corporate and personal insolvency, investigations and IBRs.

Specialisms: Licensed trade, haulage, property investment/development, construction, agriculture engineering/manufacturing.

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