Grant Thornton named administrator of glass business

09 November 2020 2 min. read

Sarah O’Toole and Jason Bell of Grant Thornton have been appointed administrators of Total Glass. Most of the workforce of the Knowsley-based glazing firm have been made redundant, following the announcement.

Founded in 1981 Total Glass is a Knowsley Business Park based business which has spent the last four decades engaged in the manufacture and supply of UPVC and aluminium products to the construction and building trade. As of 2019, the firm employed some 167 staff, and was a key supplier of UPVC and aluminium windows, UPVC and composite doors, fire doors, conservatories, curtain walling, screens and communal entrance doors – boasting an annual turnover of around £25 million.

However, all was not well at the Merseyside company as it entered 2020. Total Glass suffered heavy losses in the year to January 2020, with its last accounts posted to Companies House stating a pre-tax loss of £792,119 on turnover of £25.8 million.

Grant Thornton named administrator of glass business

The situation was swiftly exacerbated by number of fresh challenges as the country entered lockdown in March. Even with a massive fall in demand for building materials amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the company managed to struggle on – before supply issues in September, and failed attempts to raise funds to recapitalise the business meant the company effectively ceased trading that same month.

As of mid-October, administrators from Grant Thornton have been installed to weigh up the options for the firm’s assets. Sarah O’Toole and Jason Bell, who were appointed by Total Glass’ directors, have retained a small number of staff to assist with the process, however the majority of staff have been made redundant.

Grant Thornton Partner O’Toole, commented, “It is always unfortunate when any redundancies need to be made, but the cessation of trade a number of weeks prior to our appointment, coupled with product supply challenges in the sector, significantly limited the prospects of any business sale. Our focus now is on supporting the staff affected and the orderly realisation of the assets of the company.”