Thu, 09 Mar 2023 | ADMINISTRATION
Administrators are seeking a buyer for Wednesbury-based industrial supplies firm Monks & Crane Industrial Group, following the company’s collapse. The company entered administration last month as a result of COVID-19-related losses.
Monks and Crane specialised in sourcing and distributing industrial products, including maintenance products, safety equipment, protective clothing, hand and power tools. The firm was founded in 1862 and had grown to become a major supplier, serving clients from sectors including oil and gas, marine and aerospace.
The business was acquired by investment firm GIL Investments in 2018 from previous owner Würth. Despite turnover of close to £40 million in 2022, the firm had been severely impacted by COVID-19 and its associated lockdowns.
These issues were further compounded by supply chain disruption, inflationary pressures and increasing borrowing costs, which contributed to the company seeing operational losses. Monks & Crane’s management explored a range of options, including a turnaround strategy, to secure the business’ future.
However, this process was undermined by the company’s inability to access new funding, meaning it could not continue trading. As a result, RSM UK Restructuring Advisory’s Damian Webb, Chris Lewis and Tom Straw were appointed as joint administrators on February 24.
The joint administrators will now seek to secure a sale or transfer of the business and its assets, while working with the firm’s customers and suppliers to mitigate disruption and losses.
In a statement, joint administrator Damian Webb said: “Regrettably this 160-year-old company has been placed into administration despite the efforts of the management team to recapitalise and rescue the business. This business failure illustrates the issues facing many UK SMEs in the current challenging economic environment.”
In Monks & Crane's most recent accounts filed at Companies House, for the year ending December 31 2020, its fixed assets were valued at £3.2 million and current assets at £24.5 million, with net assets amounting to £11.6 million.
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