Updated: 22nd September 2010
Optical lens manufacturing business Humberside Optical Services Limited has been bought out of administration saving 21 jobs.
Founded in 1987 and based at 4,500 sq ft premises in Barton-on-Humber near Hull, the firm supplies lenses and optical supplies to opticians across the UK.
The firm was placed in the hands of administrators Begbies Traynor on 25 August 2010. Due to the loss of a significant customer immediately prior to the appointment of the administrators, almost half of the company’s 40 employees were immediately made redundant as efforts were made to rescue the company and attract a buyer.
The company has now been bought by one of the two founding directors, Ann Whelpton, for an undisclosed sum following an accelerated sale process, and marketing of the business across the UK. The firm will trade under the new name of Ardent Optical.
Joint administrators Andrew MacKenzie and Bob Maxwell of leading business rescue, recovery and restructuring specialists Begbies Traynor have completed a deal that secures the future of the remaining staff at the business.
“Humberside Optical was a fundamentally sound business that suffered as a direct result of the downturn in consumer spending, and Ann Whelpton knows the potential that the company holds,” said Andrew MacKenzie of Begbies Traynor.
“We worked hard to find a buyer who would not only deliver the best deal for creditors, but also recognised the outstanding expertise the workforce holds, and this deal gives the employees a stable future after this period of uncertainty. As is sometimes the case, the party with the best offer, and the confidence of banks and backers, is one of the directors that knew the business well,” he added.
Following their appointment, the administrators continued to trade the business and customers were not affected by the administration, fulfilling all orders and meeting deadlines for delivery.
“It was crucial that the firm retained its strong order book and excellent service reputation, even in difficult times, and the hard work of everyone at the business and within the Begbies Traynor team has ensured the best possible outcome under very difficult circumstances,” said Mr MacKenzie.
Andrew is a qualified Insolvency Practitioner, Chartered Certified Accountant and has a degree in Accountancy and Finance. He joined the Leeds office of Begbies Traynor in January 2006 having previously worked for PwC, Baker Tilly and BDO Stoy Hayward. Andrew opened a Hull office for the firm on 1 May 2008 and has a broad range of experience in Corporate Rescue and Recovery, restructuring, personal insolvency, business investigations, review work and funding solutions.