300 Fife jobs saved as troubled Havelock finds buyer

Fife-based shopfitters Havelock have landed a deal with a buyer which the firm says will secure 300 jobs.

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

Rcapital, the private investment firm, has bought Havelock, which is based in Kirkcaldy, after a traumatic few months.

Havelock say the deal secures over 300 jobs and the firm’s manufacturing sites, providing financial stability for the business.

The assets of Havelock Europa Plc have been bought by Rcapital, while the firm which previously owned them has gone into administration.

Havelock’s management team will work in partnership with Rcapital to restructure and invest in the business.

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A key focus of the deal with Rcapital will be to ensure that all customer projects are completed in full, the delivery of innovative design, manufacturing and supply arrangements.

Shaun Ormrod, Chief Executive of Havelock said: “We have been exploring a range of long-term funding options for the business over the past few months to ensure that we are financially strong for the future.

"The team at Rcapital have the expertise to help us take the business forward, driving performance and delivering results.

"I want to thank our employees, customers suppliers and stakeholders for their on-going support during this time.”

Josie Richardson, Director at Rcapital said: “The underlying Havelock business is strong and provides refits for some of the UK’s best-known high street brands.

"We fully support the management and operational teams and will work with them to ensure the best possible customer service and sustainable growth.”

The news comes as it was announced that PricewaterhouseCoopers have been appointed as administrators for Havelock Europa plc.

Administrators have not been appointed to any other companies within in the group.

In a statement to the stock exchange this morning, the firm said: "Havelock announces that, further to its announcement on June 27, 2018, the Company has today appointed Graham Douglas Frost, and Toby Scott Underwood, both of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as administrators to the Company.

"The company now in administration is Havelock Europa plc. Administrators have not been appointed to any other companies in the group.

"The Company continues to trade with its customers.

"The administrators will provide further updates in due course.

"Furthermore, with agreement of the Board, WH Ireland Limited has resigned as Nominated Adviser and Broker to the Company with immediate effect. Pursuant to AIM Rule 1, if a replacement Nominated Adviser is not appointed within one month, the admission of the Company's securities will be cancelled on AIM. The Company has no current intention of appointing a replacement Nominated Adviser.

"The Company's shares remain suspended pending further notice."

David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy, said: “Following an extremely difficult time for the company, today’s announcement that a deal has been reached which will see over 300 jobs secured is fantastic news for Havelock employees, their families who have been facing such uncertainty.

“As a major employer within the constituency and a significant contributor to the local economy, the secure and long term future of Havelock is vital.

“The efforts of the Havelock management team and PwC are to be commended, they have worked tirelessly to secure this sale. Working in partnership with Rcapital to restructure and invest.

"I am confident that they can now move forward and continue to be a significant contributor and benefit to the local economy in Fife.”

Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said: “I’m delighted for employees at Havelock that this deal has come through for them.

“The company’s financial situation was worrying but, given the quality of products which Havelock manufacture, I always held out hope an alternative route forward for the firm and its workforce would be secured.

“Kirkcaldy has a historical association with Havelock spanning over 100 years – it would have been hugely disappointing for our community to see that legacy end.

“I’m glad that Rcapital have stepped in quickly, which will be very reassuring for the employees and their families.

“I now hope that they can build on Havelock’s strong reputation and that the company’s future will be more stable as a result.”

Co-Leader of Fife Council, David Ross, stated: “Fife Council today welcomes news that, following discussions on the future of operations, a buyer has been secured for this important and internationally renowned Kirkcaldy-based business. I am pleased that the skilled jobs here in Fife will be secured for the future and further opportunities for the business will be developed”.

Co-Leader of Fife Council, David Alexander added: “The Council has worked closely with the company and our partners including Scottish Enterprise to secure the future of the company and workforce. We will continue to work with Havelock International Limited and stakeholders as the new company is established to support the growth of the Mid Fife economy.”