Search on for buyer to safeguard 150 jobs

Avocet Hardeware Limited, Brookfoot, Brighouse.
Avocet Hardeware Limited, Brookfoot, Brighouse.

150 JOBS are hanging in the balance after administrators were yesterday appointed at Avocet Hardware Ltd.

The Brighouse firm has three divisions serving the trade and DIY markets and has been hit by the downturn and a major client going bust.

But, joint administrators Andrew Stoneman and Ben Wiles, of Duff & Philps remain positive a buyer will be found, and the company is continuing to trade as normal.

“Discussions are ongoing with different parties who wish to acquire all or parts of the business,” said Mr Stoneman.

“This is a fantastic opportunity. We are actively trying to identify a buyer and rescue the jobs of the employees.”

The firm provides fixings, fasteners and general ironmongery to the UK DIY retail sector; doors and windows; and a high security lock division.

Last month it sold its loss-making Chinese factory which made products for the door and window hardware division.

Mr Stoneman said the financial performance of the company had been adversely impacted by losses from the Chinese operation and the insolvency of a major customer.

Avocet was bought by the current management in a private equity backed management buyout in November 2007.

Director Ian Jones said: “This has been a tough trading period as we have experienced a major contraction of 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.”

Avocet was established in 1978 and the UK hardware and fixing market is estimated to be worth £220 million annually.