Shaws of Darwen saved by mbo

Published: 17 April 2009
Ceramic sink specialists Shaws of Darwen have been bought by their management, just weeks after their parent company went into administration.
Qualceram Shires went into administration earlier this month.

The buy-out at Shaws was led by managing director David Dare and funded by Meridian Equity LLP. "It's business as usual," Dare said. "Providing the highest levels of customer service and quality of products to our customer remains our priority."

Max Ashton, partner at Meridian said they were "delighted " with the deal. " Shaws of Darwen has a unique position in its markets, and with the proper financial backing can leverage on its strengths and broaden the already excellent service that it offers its customers."

Shires, based in Bradford, have laid off some 60 workers from the factory since the parent company went into administration.

In its last trading report at the end of February, Qualceram Shires said turnover in the period from November 2008 to January 2009 was 35% behind the same period 12 months earlier.

"Trading performance is being adversely affected by the unprecedented slowdown in the property market and the deepening economic downturn in Ireland and the UK," the company said. "Ongoing negative consumer sentiment and the lack of availability of mortgage finance continues to impact unfavourably on the group's markets and financial performance."

Qualceram Shires plc trades under the brand names Qualceram, Shires, Selecta, Trent, Shaws of Darwen and Visions in the UK. The Shires group of companies was acquired by Qualceram in 2000.

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