Date Published: 23rd January 2014
An icon of the British fish and chip trade is set to continue after being sold out of administration.
Preston and Thomas Ltd, the Cardiff-based manufacturer that has supplied cooking ranges to fish and chip shops across the country for the past 100 years, has been bought by Rangetek Ltd in Epsom, Surrey.
Rangetek will be rebranded Preston and Thomas, as directors call upon the prestige of the Welsh manufacturer, which has installed ranges in more than 11,000 fish and chip shops since the Second World War.
Preston and Thomas was placed in administration last September following a decline in turnover in recent years. The sale of the business to Rangetek took place in December 2013 and was managed by the administrators, David Hill and Steve Wade of Begbies Traynor Cardiff office.
Mr Hill said: “After several months of talks with potential buyers, we managed to secure the sale of Preston and Thomas’s goodwill and intellectual property, along with some of its plant and machinery. This will enable the trusted brand of Preston and Thomas to continue to play a major role in nation’s culinary culture.”
Remaining plant and machinery has been sold by auction and the company’s premises at Woodville Engineering Works in Rumney, Cardiff, has now been cleared.
Martin Lewis, managing director of Rangetek, said: “We feel both privileged and excited about the purchase of Preston and Thomas. With our two highly-skilled teams in Surrey and Kent, this iconic name is in safe hands and we are confident of a bright future.
“We will be relaunching Preston and Thomas on February 3 and look forward to taking the brand forward and continuing its reputation for serving quality to fish and chip customers across Britain and beyond.”
Mr Lewis added that Rangetek’s name would switch to Preston and Thomas for the February 3 relaunch.
Rangetek was founded in 1987 by Steven Saunders and Tom O’Neil before being sold to employees Martin and Donna Lewis in 2011. Based across two sites in Epsom, Surrey, and Sevenoaks, Kent, Rangetek specialises in supplying fish and chip shop fryers, in addition to equipment servicing and upgrades.
David is a chartered accountant and licensed insolvency practitioner. He joined Begbies Traynor in 2003 having previously worked for Grant Thornton, Deloitte and BDO Stoy Hayward. He has a wide range of experience in Corporate Rescue and Recovery including both corporate and personal insolvency.