UPDATE 2: Gardners bought out of administration
By Tim Sheahan Thursday, 19 July 2012
Cardiff-based large format printer Gardners has been bought by a team led by ex-Bezier director Richard Courtney after being placed into administration last week (13 July).
The deal, which was completed at lunchtime on 17 July, results in former commercial director Courtney take on the role of managing director of the 102-staff business.
Ex-managing director Richard Gardner relinquishes his position, but will "continue to support the business" as required by the board.
All staff at the £11m-turnover company will be retained through the deal, which was financed, in part, by an unnamed external equity partner.
Gardners appointed Cameron Gunn, Mark Supperstone and Simon Harris of Resolve Group UK as joint administrators of the company on 11 July.
Courtney said the main cause of the administration was "a six-month delay in the commencement of a large contract, which was detrimental to the cashflow of the business".
"Despite our best endeavours to obtain earlier investment we reached the view last week that a formal process was the only way to protect the business and its employees," he said.
Courtney said the immediate focus for the business was to work closely with suppliers to ensure continued support to the business. "Further to this, I can say that our suppliers are indeed showing their support and encouragement and we very much appreciate that," he added.
According to Companies House, Cable Finance created a debenture on 27 June securing all monies, debts and liabilities owed to it by Gardners by a fixed and floating charge against the printer’s assets, including property, plant and machinery, contracts and book debts.
Courtney said that Cable took over the financial obligations and responsibilities of the bank at short notice, while the company sought private equity investment.
"They provided a cash injection to enable us to continue to trade while we focused on securing private equity investment," he said.
Gardners operates a range of Agfa and HP wide-format equipment, including the UK’s first HP FB7500 installed in 2009.
Upon completion of the deal, Gardners will continue to operate from its purpose built 3.5-acre manufacturing site in Cardiff.
Courtney said: "Our aim is for continuity within the business and I would like to assure all of our clients that we will endeavour to provide outstanding customer service and that we intend to work closely with our valued suppliers to ensure continued support of the business.
"Gardners has an established, sound and successful customer proposition and will continue to build on the same strategy, operations and services that are currently in place."
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