Customade bought out of administration

Customade Group has been bought out of administration by European private equity fund Nimbus, together with its financing source MidCap Financial.

The new group is made up of Virtuoso Doors, Polyframe Norwich, Polyframe Stonehouse, Real Aluminium, Atlas, Fineline Aluminium, and Stevenswood.

Polyframe Halifax and Polyframe Livingston will not reopen, and Veka has refused to supply the new group.

The official announcement came at midday on Tuesday June 30, following a weekend of confusion. An announcement was originally made on Friday night, visible on Customade’s website and reported by Glass Times, but it was taken down again on Saturday morning.

Many took to social media to express frustration at the lack of official information, and concern that many suppliers will be left out of pocket.

One of Customade’s key suppliers, Veka, had already announced that it was preparing to make redundancies following bad debts that had accumulated following the collapse of other customers, including Sash UK.

In a tweet, published before this latest announcement, Veka said: “@CustomadeGroup actions will have significant impact on Veka plc. We have no plans to continue our trading relationship with the new company, putting our efforts into supporting our trusted fabricator base.”

Glass Times has asked other suppliers to comment.

In a statement to the press, Customade said: “This acquisition saves over 870 jobs and provides a strong footing for the acquired businesses to face the post Covid-19 economic pressures and pursue the new owner’s ambitious growth plans.”

Alexander de Haas, of Nimbus, said: “The business has a market leading product and customer service proposition but has faced unprecedented challenges in the last six months. Our investment will allow the group to recover and focus on a long-term growth strategy which will include significant investment in the manufacturing capability of the group.”

The new group management team will be led by chief executive David Leng.

“I am very disappointed for the great staff, suppliers and customers at the Polyframe Halifax and Polyframe Livingston factories,” he said. “These sites were uneconomic to re-open and we were unable to raise funding in these difficult times to restart them. I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their hard work and understanding.”