Multi-million pound firm’s 167 jobs saved thanks to buyout

PUBLISHED: 16:22 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:47 16 July 2020

Polyframe in Lenwade has been saved thanks to a buyout after it collapsed into administration. Picture: Archant

Polyframe in Lenwade has been saved thanks to a buyout after it collapsed into administration. Picture: Archant

Archant 2020

The jobs of around 170 people have been saved as a Norfolk window manufacturer avoided collapse.

Polyframe Norwich, which operates out of Lenwade, is part of the Customade Group which filed for administration at the end of June.

However, the jobs of the 167 members of staff at the PVC window manufacturer and supplier have been saved thanks to a buyout by private equity investor Nimbus.

Administrators Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) confirmed the group’s future had been secured with “little disruption” moving forward.

Polyframe, which is one of seven businesses that made up the Customade group, had previously been in a strong position with operating profits of more than £1.2 million.

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In the latest accounts on companies house – which were to December 2018 – the business reported turnover of £21.27 million.

This was an increase on the prior year, which saw them bring in £16.5 million.

The company also relied to some extent on creditors paying their debts.

Although the company owed other businesses £5.6 million, the firm was owed £8.5 million.

The director’s report, which was published in October 2019, outlined the above as its biggest credit risk.

It read: “The company’s credit risk is primarily attributable to trade debtors and debtors from other group undertakings. The amounts presented in the balance sheet are after making allowances for bad debt provisions.”

Of the buyout, Rob Croxen, managing director at A&M, said: “Covid-19 is creating new challenges for businesses exposed to declining consumer demand. As the crisis places strains on balance sheets, many are exploring options to move to a sustainable footing.

“A series of issues and working capital needs were already affecting Customade Group’s profitability before the outbreak of the pandemic, meaning additional investment was critically needed. The new funding secured through the confirmation of sale will allow the business to move forward.”

While 850 jobs – including those in Norfolk – were saved, 250 people have been made redundant.

Lyn Vardy, senior director at A&M, said: “Regrettably, a number of employees have been made redundant as part of the process, and every effort will be made to support them during this difficult time. However, this sale has secured the Group’s future, enabling the majority of its business lines to maintain operations with little disruption.”

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