A move to buy “intangible” assets from Havelock will not lead to jobs for former workers of the Fife shopfitting firm.
Major Kirkcaldy employer Havelock went into administration on July 31 with the loss of around 250 jobs.
On Tuesday, Mansfield-based contract furniture firm Deanestor announced it had acquired the right to use Havelock’s brand names and product designs.
Deanestor executive director Richard Tonkinson said the deal, for an undisclosed sum, would strengthen the firm’s position as one of the largest interior fit-out businesses in the UK.
He said: “Despite their long trading history and a well-established market position, Havelock and its subsidiaries experienced increasingly difficult trading conditions, largely due to their exposure to the weakening retail and high street banking sectors.
“This culminated in Havelock International falling into administration earlier this year.
“As one of the UK’s leading fit out specialists in healthcare, education, student accommodation and build-to-rent, Deanestor is well placed to build on Havelock’s long history and market position, and continue to service its client base in these core sectors.”
As part of the acquisition, Deanestor has the rights to the Havelock International brand and 13 sub-brands, including the leading education fit out brand, ESA McIntosh, which Havelock acquired in 2001.
This brand has a history dating back to the 1860s when Alexander Henry McIntosh began making elaborate cabinetry using highly skilled craftsmen.
Deanestor is the leading furniture, fittings and equipment supplier to the NHS with customers in the education, student accommodation and build-to-rent sectors.
The firm currently has a project management and sales base in Dunfermline.
“Deanestor is financially strong, having recently announced a record order intake for the first half of 2019,” said Mr Tonkinson.
“Last year we completed a £1 million investment programme at our factory in Mansfield which included installation of the latest computer-controlled cutting equipment and a second production line to double capacity of cabinetry.”
Havelock, which was purchased by private equity group Rcapital in July 2018, had debts of almost £9m when it entered administration this year.
George Ramsay, Unite regional industrial officer, said he would be seeking a meeting with Deanestor to see if there might be opportunities for former Havelock workers.
He said: “Havelock has not been bought out of administration however Unite is hopeful that Deanestor having bought the Havelock brand will also look to reemploy former workers who were cruelly let down by the previous owners.
“Unite continues to do everything we can to support the former Havelock workers and we will seek to hold an urgent meeting with Deanstor, who have a site in Dunfermline, to see what is possible.”
The Havelock administration is being handled by joint administrators David Baxendale and Zelf Hussain of PwC.
A PwC spokesperson said: “Certain intellectual property assets of Havelock International Limited have been acquired by Deanestor, including the brand and domain names.
“The sale of these assets does not constitute a sale of the business to Deanestor.”