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MBO at Cosalt Saves 20 Jobs

A three-strong executive team led by former sales director James Garland has bought the intellectual property rights, goodwill and plant and machinery as well as taking a five year lease on the firm’s Stockholm Road facility.

Martyn Hadfield, a 25-year veteran of Cosalt will also take a stake in the firm and continue in his role as operations director, while Malcolm Mathieson joins the business as finance director and shareholder.

The business was acquired by Leeds-based turnaround fund Endless in October 2008 after parent company Marine specialist Cosalt Plc struggled to find a trade buyer for the ailing caravan business.

The MBO team stepped in to save the remaining jobs and Leeds corporate financier Will Arnold of BTG McInnes Corporate Finance negotiated the sale of the only remaining division of the Holiday Homes business after the closure of the firm’s Stoneferry Road site and the loss of around 200 jobs.

Cosalt Holiday Homes will no longer build caravans, but instead will concentrate on the growing demand within holiday lodges and homes sectors.

“We have rescued a viable and reputable business that has a great deal of potential, and we have to now work hard to up skill the business from being dormant to returning to steady production very quickly,” said managing director James Garland.

“We will be inviting applications from the former Cosalt employees for the new jobs, and we are confident that we will be able to fill the skilled positions from this source, and hope to steadily build the business to becoming a major employer again in the years to come,” he added.

Cosalt Holiday Homes will now exclusively manufacture and sell high quality lodges to the leisure and UK holiday industry. The deal, structured by BTG McInnes and backed by private investment and working capital facilities provided by HSBC, will see the firm’s workforce double from its current level of ten over the coming weeks.

“The business that the team has acquired is a reputable and viable manufacturer, and has a great chance to grow from base with a great product, excellent manufacturing capability, a highly skilled workforce and a book of orders and strong leads. That any aspect of the Cosalt business could be saved is good news, given the seriousness of its problems,” said Will Arnold of BTG McInnes Corporate Finance.

Production is expected to resume within weeks and a strong order book and pipeline of enquiries for the lodges from leisure operators and holiday parks across the country is anticipated to deliver 60 to 70 units in the next 12 months.

Demand for the lodges is growing as UK leisure operators invest in high quality holiday homes, equipped with en suite bathrooms, gourmet kitchens and state of the art entertainment systems and the firm anticipates turnover in excess of £2m over the coming year.

Julie Palmer

About the author

Julie Palmer

Regional Managing Partner

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Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor.

Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and the None Administrative Receivers Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.

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