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Sheffield Fastener-Making Firm Heads into Administration

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Updated: 5th February 2020

A company which has been involved in making industrial fasteners since the 1870s has been entered into administration after succumbing to a persistent series of cash flow problems.

Williams Fasteners has seen its revenues declining for the past several years, with the struggles of the UK’s steel industry having contributed to its concerns.

The company has been based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, since its founding back in the 19th century but also has operating bases in Manchester, Norwich and Bridgend in South Wales.

With Howard Smith and Jonny Marston from KPMG appointed as administrators of the business on October 6th 2016, a total of 50 members of its workforce have been made redundant.

Administrators were called in after efforts aimed at finding a new buyer for the business were made but did not result in a sale being completed or a viable buyer being found. 

“In recent years Williams Fasteners has suffered a fall in turnover, resulting in cash flow difficulties,” explained Howard Smith, one of the appointed administrators in a statement.

“As the company was unable to pay debts as and when they fell due, the directors took steps to appoint administrators.

“Unfortunately, a buyer for the business has not been found, and as such redundancies have been made following our appointment. We are assisting employees during this difficult time.”

Just five employees of the Sheffield company have been retained in their roles. Administrators have said that they will continue to look for potential buyers for the business and its assets.

In addition to having faced tough trading conditions and problems with cash flows in recent years, Williams Fasteners’ directors also had to grapple with the issue of operating with a large pension deficit.

As a maker of industrial fasteners, the weakening of the steel industry in Britain and other parts of the world in recent years is understood to have contributed to making life particularly difficult for the Yorkshire company.

Hundreds of jobs have been lost in the steel industry in recent months and many associated businesses have found it difficult to avoid insolvency during what has been a period of real crisis for the sector in the UK. Real Business Rescue provide director advice online, over the phone, or in-person at one of our 78 UK offices or a place of your convenience.

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