Troubled firm back in business

Phil Warren (centre left), Roy Frost (centre) and Darren Pusey (centre right) outside the factory with the Lister Trade Frames team
Phil Warren (centre left), Roy Frost (centre) and Darren Pusey (centre right) outside the factory with the Lister Trade Frames team

The 150,000ft2 manufacturing facility in Stoke-on-Trent of Lister Trade Frames has been acquired by Roy Frost and his group GJB Holdings, following a brief period in admistration.

Backed by north west-based entrepreneur Alan Rothwell, the deal will secure around 70 jobs in Stoke-on-Trent. The company will continue to manufacture windows using Veka/Halo profile, alongside Residence Collection, Solidor, and Aluk.

The £12m turnover company was placed into administration on August 29, and the administrators – Andy McGill of Smith & Williamson and Ian Gould of Baldwins – received more than 25 enquiries from interested parties.

According to the administrators, the business had invested significantly in recent times on upgrades to plant and machinery, new stock lines and other business ventures. However, the return on investment did not materialise as quickly as the company would have hoped.

“Listers is a well-established business with a strong customer base in the Midlands,” Andy McGill said. “We’re absolutely delighted to achieve a successful sale which will ensure continuity of employment for the dedicated workforce of this 40-year-old business.”

Ian Gould said: “I am delighted that the sale has concluded with the help and support of all those involved. Securing the future of Listers as a business was our primary goal to ensure the best possible result for creditors.”

The new structure sees two existing directors, Phil Warren and Darren Pusey, continuing in the new management team. Mark Warren had already stepped down as MD, after a 30-year career at the helm.

In his time as MD, Mark oversaw key moments in the growth of Listers that helped grow the business from operating in a shed at the foot of the garden to a £12 million company with more than 120 staff.

“Mark was absolutely key to building team spirit as well as ensuring the business remained ahead of the curve, and working with him he kept all of us motivated to succeed,” Co-director Darren Pusey said.

Roy Frost said: “[Listers’] reputation was built on supplying innovative products with great levels of service backed up by superb marketing support, and we will develop and improve on this.

“We will keep it simple and get back to basics, focusing on our core products and remove any distractions. We will be concentrating on delivering excellent levels of customer service to our 900+ customers, giving them the competitive edge they need.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Phil and Darren to bring some fresh new ideas and new energy into the business. This acquisition fits perfectly with our long-term strategy for GJB Holdings. Onwards and upwards.”

Roy Frost – previously MD of Deceuninck UK – bought Eurocell fabricator GJB, which makes 1,200 frames a week, from previous owners Ken Blackman and Gary Bristow in July this year.

At the time, Roy hinted that it could be the first acquisition of many.

“There are lots of well-run businesses in this industry with owners coming up to retirement age and I am keen to explore other opportunities,” Roy said.