Axminster Carpets files for administration

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Rachael Power
Community Correspondent
Sift Media
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Axminister Carpets filed for administration on Wednesday, prompting talks about the future of the business.

The 258-year-old company currently employs 400 people and is one of the largest private employers in Devon.

Axminster said it would continue to trade and is seeking “various rescue options”.

The company filed its intention to appoint David Whitehouse, Geoff Bouchier and Benjamin Wiles from Duff & Phelps as joint administrators this week.

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22nd Feb 2013 12:42

Sad day...

I was speaking to a client about this yesterday - client runs a large carpet warehouse -  does the fitting as well etc. He has had to lay off staff in this recession and only kept going by selling the more not so hardwearing carpets and laying off staff.

Axminster carpets were of the best quality - lasted for 20 or so years and therefore were hardly ever replaced. According to my client carpets of not such good quality are replaced every four or five years (or whenever a house is sold).

This closure of Axminster's has been on the cards for a while apparently. The last accounts submitted were for the year to 30 Dec 2010 which showed profit of £435K  and creditors  of only £12,810. Not a huge amount. Of course we dont know what the overdraft or creditors figure was for 30 Dec 2011 or 30 Dec 2012.

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Axminster and the coalition

This now goes to show that the coalition has failed.How much further destruction can this country's businesses stand. We will soon be a third world country needing foreign aid.I firmly believe they are right in trying to stop the benefit ciulture but please people need jobs not benefits and the treasury need tax and national insurance and not handing out benefits to people who want to work but can't because there is a lack of jobs.Also we need to stop this immagration culture to find people to do menial jobs. The long term unemployed and people that are pretending to be disabled should be compulsorily made to do these jobs.

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05th Mar 2013 17:28

UPDATE: Duff & Phelps officially appointed

Axminster has announced that it has been forced to enter administration as the carpet sector continues to suffer.

The board of the company has taken the decision to place the company into administration following a sharp increase in raw material prices, the closure of a loss making subsidiary and a slight downturn in sales as a result of the continuing economic difficulties facing the UK.

Benjamin Wiles, Geoffrey Bouchier and David Whitehouse, all of Duff & Phelps were appointed joint administrators.

The administrators continue to assess the company’s financial position and explore all potential options to maximise the realisations for the company's creditors including a sale of the business.

The official notice reads:

“However, whilst this assessment takes place, the decision has been taken to downscale the carpet manufacturing operations and cease yarn production.  Consequently, the Joint Administrators have had no alternative other than to make approximately 300 employees redundant at the Axminster and Buckfast sites. Some 100 employees have been retained by the Administrators.

The factory outlet stores remain open for business as usual and the Company will attempt to fulfil existing customer orders where possible. The main suppliers have already offered their continued support for the business during the Administration.”

The company’s director, Joshua Dutfield, said: “Trading has been difficult and although it saddens the Board to make the decision to enter administration it could not be avoided. The management have been working with key suppliers, creditors and lenders to resolve the Company's financial difficulties and whilst the last few weeks have been stressful, the Company managed to pay the wages yesterday. We are now committed to working with the Administrators to asses[***] all viable options for the future of the business and achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned and most importantly the staff.”

Joint administrator, Benjamin Wiles, added: “We recognise the importance of the business to the local community and will be seeking to work closely with management and all key stakeholders to restructure the business where possible, including the possibility of selling all or part of the business.”

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