Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Heywood Williams set for administration

Around 1,000 jobs are at risk at Yorkshire-based building products giant Heywood Williams, following news it is set to enter administration.

The move came after shareholders this morning rejected plans for a ВЈ21m debt-for-equity swap the company agreed with its banking syndicate earlier this month.

The plan would have left the banks and board members holding 80% of the company, executive board members and some senior management 10%, and existing shareholders just 10%.

But shareholders, including entrepreneur and investor Paul Bell, who has built up a 27% stake in the company, opposed the deal.

Bell, who described the plan as "outrageous", told the Daily Mail earlier this month: "The management team responsible for the mess the company is now in are delivering absolute control into the hands of the banks and being rewarded with a 10% stake in the business and the right to keep their overpaid jobs. I would rather kiss my shareholding goodbye than see this deal go through."


Heywood Williams set for administration


This morning at a shareholders' meeting, Bell got his way when shareholders voted against the restructuring proposal.

Shares in the firm have subsequently been suspended and the company has announced that it will go to court to appoint administrators. No administrator has yet been appointed.

A spokesman for the business said: "The company's shares have been suspended and they are taking steps to secure the future of those 1,000 jobs."

Around 80% of Heywood Williams’ sales are branded building products for home improvement and residential new build market segments across Europe and North America.

The company warned at the start of this year that 2009 would be more difficult than in the previous year.

In 2008, Heywood’s total sales were down 13% to £220m.

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