Jobs salvaged through park homes buy-out
AROUND 140 jobs are set to be salvaged in Brandon after buyers were found for a troubled park homes manufacturer which went into administration. Former Omar Homes owner Paul Pleszko, helped by family friend and entrepreneur Tony Roach, sealed a deal for the purchase of its intellectual rights, trade name and subsidiaries on Friday following talks with administrators Tenon Recovery.
AROUND 140 jobs are set to be salvaged in Brandon after buyers were found for a troubled park homes manufacturer which went into administration.
Former Omar Homes owner Paul Pleszko, helped by family friend and entrepreneur Tony Roach, sealed a deal for the purchase of its intellectual rights, trade name and subsidiaries on Friday following talks with administrators Tenon Recovery.
The management-led buyout followed “substantial interest” in the business and assets and several offers, the new company said.
Around 160 employees at the plant lost their jobs in March when the company filed for administration after it was hit by a combination of problems related to the property downturn and the currency exchange rate. It had been trading since 1965 and generated an annual turnover of about �45million before its troubles. A skeleton staff of around 30 remain.
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Even before it went into administration, about 100 staff were lost at the firm's Brandon headquarters since August of last year. A showroom at Milton Keynes and a small manufacturing unit at Northamptonshire were closed.
Tenon lead partner Ben Barrett, said they were still assessing losses at the original firm , but “it will certainly be seven figures”.
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He added that if former staff were available, the buyers were committed to going back to the old workforce.
“It's certainly a good deal for employees and it's very good for the local economy but I think creditors are not going to be looking at an entirely positive result,” he said.
“The new management team is going to be very loyal to local suppliers. They have made that commitment during negotiations with me.”
They had got the “best return we could” in the present economic climate,” he said.
“The banks, RBS and Lloyds, will definitely get a better return than they would have done with just a simple closure,” he added.
The new company, called Omar Park Homes, is headed by Mr Pleszko, who will be assisted by some of his previous management team and Mr Roach, who has invested in the company and will be looking after the operational side of the business.
“After due consideration, Tenon accepted the offer from the consortium led by management. The directors are grateful to the Tenon team for the professional and courteous manner in which the difficult few weeks were managed and for the hard work of Tenon and its advisers,” the company said in a statement.
“The Omar Homes Group has a longstanding history of designing and building park homes, lodges and holiday homes which were synonymous with quality, style and innovation. The new company will also be developing a new range of exciting products to complement the existing range.”
It thanked all previous employees, customers, suppliers and Lloyds TSB Bank for their support over previous years and said it was looking forward to working with them again in the future.
Law firm Hewitsons, which advised on the buyout through Mr Pleszko and Mr Roach's joint venture said it was “delighted” to have been able to help Omar, who were long time clients of Hewitsons.
Corporate partner Jason Williams said: “We were able to pull out all the stops to ensure this deal went ahead despite the difficult economic climate we are currently facing. It was certainly a difficult transaction because funding is not easy to obtain at present.”