150 jobs saved at luxury kitchen brand
150 jobs have been saved after a Birmingham-based bespoke kitchen manufacturer was acquired out of administration.
Mereway Kitchens, founded in 1986, has been bought by Highlight Green Acres – another Birmingham kitchen brand after administrators at BDO secured a rescue deal.
Lee Causer and Danny Dartnaill of BDO were appointed as joint administrators of Mereway Kitchens on August 18 after the company struggled through a challenging economic climate.
Mereway Kitchens, which says on its website that it manufactures every kitchen in Britain, said in its last accounts that the manufacture of its products includes the import of a substantial percentage of its total material content and key supplies are priced in Euros, exposing the company to foreign exchange risks.
Lee Causer, business restructuring partner at BDO, said: “Despite considerable efforts from management and the team, the challenging business environment and ongoing economic headwinds have impacted the Company’s ability to trade and administration was the only option.
“The sale of the business is a positive one. It provides the best outcome for creditors in the circumstance, as well as saving jobs of those employed by the company.”
Chairman of Sigma 3 Group, Brian Lakin, said: “Whilst we determine our investment plans for Mereway in the mid to long-term, it will be business as usual. We hope to restore stability with a sharp focus on improving service and completeness. Also, reinstating best practices to facilitate future expansion as we are committed to the business’s long-term strategic success and prosperity.”
Richard and Bob Norris, co-founders of Mereway Kitchens, said: “Although we’ve faced challenges over the past few years and are disappointed to have not been able to trade through them, we’re pleased that Sigma 3 Group has taken over and ensured the continued success of the Mereway Kitchens business.
“This move provides much-needed security and stability for the staff, customers, and suppliers. We wish Sigma 3 Group every success and are confident that this is a fantastic move for the future of Mereway Kitchens.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “I want to place on record my thanks to Sigma 3 Group and congratulate them on their recent acquisition of Mereway Kitchens. In doing so, Sigma 3 have successfully safeguarded over 150 jobs here in our region and ushered in a promising new chapter for both companies.
“I saw firsthand the exceptional quality of Mereway Kitchens during my time at John Lewis so I’m pleased that this new partnership will bring about exciting opportunities for customers in the months and years ahead.
“This deal recognises our region’s remarkable entrepreneurial heritage and outstanding craftsmanship. I look forward to many successful years of trading to come.”