Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 4th December 2012
Removal and storage company Pickfords has been bought out of administration following a pre-pack administration deal completed by its existing management team - safeguarding 900 jobs.
The 400-year-old firm was immediately bought back by directors Yogesh Mehta, Russell James Start and Timothy Paul Romer under the umbrella of a newly formed company, Pickfords Move Management.
The firm, whose HQ are based in Wembley, was previously owned by The Team Group, a private company with common directors from the new buy-out shell. The company was bought out of administration in 2008 when it was sold by its American parent Sirva to Team Group.
David Gilbert, BDO business restructuring partner, said: “This outcome preserves all 900 jobs and prevents the demise of a 400-year old household name.
“With this sale, the business can now move forward on a secure financial footing. Going forward, it will be business as usual at all sites, operating under the Pickfords name, and all contracts, moves and orders will be fulfilled. No disruption at all is anticipated and clients will continue to receive the same high standards of Pickfords service.”
The pre-pack deal, completed on November 23, gives welcome relief to Pickfords and its staff following a period in which the sluggish housing market sector has had an adverse affect with house moves still below historic averages.
Pre-pack deals can sometimes come in for criticism as creditors are often unpaid, but when a company in the UK is facing serious financial difficulties it is simply one of the best business rescue options, often saving many jobs," says Keith Tully of insolvency practitioners, Cooper Williamson.
"This is a completely legal and powerful way in which to sell a company to a third-party whilst it is still trading, with the main benefit being that a business can continue trading during the transition to a new company without incurring any penalties if the process is followed to the letter of the law."
Pickfords have come to the fore in recent years with the TV series 'The Removal Men' hitting UK screens, following company staff as they help 250,000 people a year move home within the UK and overseas. A second series began in October 2012.