On 21st July 2022, Gareth Wilcox and Paul Harding of Opus Restructuring & Insolvency were appointed as the administrators of West Midlands manufacturer Furmanac Ltd – prior to securing a pre-pack deal to ensure continuity, saving some 160 jobs.
Handcrafting beds and chairs in the UK for over 50 years, and specialising in adjustable mechanisms, Furmanac suffered substantially during the last couple of years with the closing and reopening of its own manufacturing site, and the closure of its customers during successive lockdowns, states Opus. This was followed by a consistent increase in the cost of materials, combined with a lack of availability and resource challenges. Combined, these factors combined proved too much for the business.
Furmanac's directors approached partners at Opus Birmingham to assist. Following a review of the company's finances, it was identified that there was a viable option to rescue the business through an administration pre-pack deal whereby 160 jobs could be saved, and continuity of supply maintained – rather than liquidating and closing the business.
The new business, Furmanac Group, is owned by John Hilliard (pictured), Gee Hilliard and Wayne Mullins.
Gareth Wilcox explains: "If we can find a way to feasibly save a business, we will always look to achieve that outcome. This business has been through some tough times but had previously traded successfully. Once we had independently reviewed the figures, it was clear that this was a business that could be saved, and that this would achieve the best results for all stakeholders."
Paul Harding adds: "Combining the current climate, and the last couple of years, we envisage seeing many more businesses in this predicament. Because Furmanac spoke to us when they did, we had time to ensure a sale could be achieved and that the business could continue. We are extremely happy that so many jobs were able to be saved, especially given the personal financial challenges being faced by so many at the moment."