Deal struck to buy Havelock’s brand name

Havelock Europa have an office at Kirkcaldy's Mitchelston Industrial Estate.
Havelock Europa have an office at Kirkcaldy's Mitchelston Industrial Estate.

The brand name of Havelock Europa has been snapped up just two months after the collapse of the Kirkcaldy company with the loss of almost 250 jobs.

They have been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Mansfield-based contract furniture specialists, Deanestor – but the company’s former factory in Mitchelston won’t be re-opening.

The new owners already have a Scottish headquarters in Dunfermline.

Havelock collapsed into administration in August, leaving 247 staff out of work almost overnight.

It was the UK market leader in the manufacture and installation of furniture across a diverse range of sectors including education, healthcare, hospitality, and retail. Clients included the University of Edinburgh, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis and Lloyds Banking Group.

It had been in trouble for some time, but there was anger at the speed with which the doors closed.

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Administrators from PwC moved in to try to find a buyer, and it was confirmed today that a deal for its intangible assets had been done with the Mansfield-based furniture specialists.

It includes certain brand and domain names.

Richard Tonkinson, executive director of Deanestor, 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.”

He said the new owners were “financially strong” , having recently announced a record order intake for the first half of 2019.

Mr Tonkinson added: “Last year we completed a £1m 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. Our team is well resourced to provide the highest quality and service levels in our sector, reinforced by our high levels of repeat business.”

“The acquisition of the Havelock brands further strengths our position as one of the largest interior fit-out businesses in the UK and the leading furniture, fittings and equipment supplier to the NHS. The Government has recently announced £14bn of extra funding for schools over the next three years and a £13bn boost to NHS capital spending.

“This is very positive for our business, the wider construction industry and UK manufacturing.”

Deanestor has acquired the rights to the Havelock International brand and 13 sub-brands, registered trademarks and product lines including ESA Healthcare and ESA McIntosh. The deal also includes all of the Havelock domain names and the full catalogue of Havelock, ESA McIntosh and Godfrey Syrett product designs.

A spokesman for PwC said: “The joint administrators of Havelock International Limited can confirm that 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.”