RSM administrators oversee textile companies' sale to save jobs

21 June 2017 3 min. read

Bolton Textiles Group have purchased a number of struggling industry competitors, in a deal brokered by RSM administrators. The Lancashire businesses recently announced that following financial hardship the sale was likely to save more than 100 jobs in the region.

Four Lancashire-based textile companies recently entered financial difficulties, with the group entering into collective administration earlier in 2017. Fabric design and production company Cliq Designs, founded more than 25 years ago; and InHome Soft Furnishings, founded 2015, are both located in  and is located in Bolton, with InHome offering high end soft furnishings to clients across the globe. J.H Cunliffe & Company a textiles were meanwhile founded in 1878, and the company operates from a four storey 70,000 square feet mill in Rochdale.

Due to increased competition in the segment, challenging market conditions, resulting is squeezed margins and reduced cash-flow the companies entered into administration on 23 May 2017. To oversee the process, RSM administrators were called in, led by Jeremy Woodside, a restructuring advisory partner at the firm.

RSM administrators oversee textile companies' sale to save jobs

Jobs saved

The auditing firm, who recently expanded their Preston locale with a spate of senior hires, saw their representatives quickly strike up a deal, as the group of companies were sold to the Bolton Textiles Group for an undisclosed fee. The transaction is thought to have saved over 100 jobs across the Lancashire region.

The Bolton Textile Group, situated in the town of the same name, provides customers in the retail, hotel, cruise ship, restaurant and bar operators with services through its network members, including contract furnishing fabrics and production and design services.

Commenting on the deal, Woodside said, “The deal saves a group of historic Lancashire manufacturers, which is not only great news for the 102 employees and the wider Lancashire economy, but it ensures continuity to the companies’ loyal customers.”

While this was the latest example of the threat to employment in Lancashire’s textile industry, its market has been in a state of steady decline along with the UK more generally since the turn of the century, falling victim to globalisation as cheap imports priced many historic names out of the market. In 1999, the Knitwear, Footwear and Apparel Trades Union estimated that 41,000 jobs had been lost that year - the equivalent of one textile factory closing every day.

Following the global financial crisis of 2008 meanwhile, the market took a further hit, with the then hallmark company Hyndburn seeing 27 jobs lost from its Accrington plant, as it was sold amid similar circumstances to the four companies RSM assisted. Hyndburn’s own administration was headed by Big Four consulting firm EY, with administrators selling the company to Manchester-based linens firm Vision Support Services Group, safeguarding 53 of 80 jobs.