December 13 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Thirty-five jobs are being shed at a Braintree-based lighting manufacturer after it collapsed into administration in August.
But 15 jobs at Riegens Lighting Ltd, the UK subsidiary of a still prospering Danish firm, have been saved on the sales and support side after that arm was bought by its parent company, based in Odense, through another subsidiary.
Administrators FRP Advisory was called in at Riegens Lighting Limited, one of the UK’s leading commercial lighting manufacturers which employed 50 people, on August 5 after it hit financial problems as a delayed reaction to the financial crisis and subsequent squeeze on capital works contracts in the UK.
Joint administrators Jason Baker and Geoff Rowley, partners at FRP, kept the company trading as a going concern while they looked for potential buyers, but the manufacturing side could not be saved after a buyer failed to materialise.
However, the 15 jobs on its sales and support side have been secured after transferring that part to Riegens UK Limited, a subsidiary of Odense-based Riegens A/S.
The move leaves a UK hub for the business, and means it will continue to operate and trade from its Braintree office, which remains its UK sales hub. But UK manufacturing, previously on site in Braintree, is now ended. All the products will now be made in Denmark by Riegens’ global centre and exported to the UK.
“Riegens is an established and respected luminaire manufacturer and whilst interest was received from potential purchasers it was not possible to secure a buyer for the whole of Riegens Lighting to safeguard the whole of the company’s business. The sale to Riegens UK Limited does however preserve the jobs of some staff members and represents the best outcome for creditors to Riegens Lighting,” said Mr Baker.
“Riegens has a strong UK customer relationship base and a sound reputation for delivering quality products to a range of new and existing developments.
“Riegens Lighting Limited had however recently struggled with its overall cost base once the volume of major UK capital investment projects, particularly in the property sector, began to slow over the past couple of years.
“That deterioration in trading conditions has forced the wider Riegens group to restructure in order to maintain its continuing UK presence via an on-going sales and marketing team, service its order book and ensure it is able to trade for the generation ahead.
“With a leaner UK cost base Riegens as a whole is now ideally positioned for UK growth in the next upward cycle to the economy just underway and where there are good signs recently of increases in overall business capital investment.”
Claus Jensen, chief executive of Riegens A/S, based in Odense, Denmark said it was important that Riegens retained a presence in the UK.
“This sale provides us with the opportunity to restructure and reinforce the business operations in the UK with a strong product programme that highlights our many years of experience and lighting expertise, whilst offering customised solutions using the very latest energy saving technology. Riegens is firmly established as a leading supplier of tailor-made lighting solutions for Europe’s professional lighting markets.”
Riegens supplies interior lighting for the commercial and retail sectors.