Future of company related to Axminster Carpets is secured

ADMINISTRATORS working to save Axminster Carpets have secured the future of a related commercial tannery business.

The business and assets of Devonia, based in Buckfastleigh, Devon have been sold to Eastern Counties Leather.

Administrators Duff & Phelps were appointed administrators to Devonia today and the sale has secured 20 jobs.

They stressed that Axminster Carpets, Devonia’s holding company, does not form part of this sale and is not currently in administration.

A statement issued on behalf of the administrators from Richard Merrin, of Spreckley Partners Ltd, said: “Benjamin Wiles, Geoff Bouchier and David Whitehouse, of Duff & Phelps were appointed joint administrators of the company on 25 February 2013.

“Immediately following their appointment, a sale of the business and assets of the company was completed to Eastern Counties Leather.

“Devonia is based in the historic town of Buckfastleigh and has been tanning sheepskins on this site for over 200 years.

“Devonia is the sole remaining commercial tannery in the United Kingdom and processes British sheepskins that have been bred, farmed and reared in the UK and provides a wide range of tanning services to businesses and individuals.”

Benjamin Wiles, joint administrator, of Duff & Phelps, said: “We are delighted to have completed a going concern sale of the business which has resulted in the continued operation of the sole remaining tannery in the United Kingdom and importantly saves 20 jobs.”

He added: “Axminster Carpets Limited, the company’s ultimate holding company, does not form part of this sale and is not currently in administration.

“Axminster Carpets continues to trade and fulfil its customers’ orders while all available options are being pursued by the company’s board of directors.”

Joshua Dutfield, the director of the company, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Devonia staff for their loyalty and hard work.

“I am delighted that the business’ future and the employee’s jobs have been secured and I wish them all the best for the future.

“Devonia is a great British brand with a great heritage in the local area.”

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