Administrators at Realstone continue with takeover talks
Negotiations for the takeover of the assets of Realstone, one of the UK’s leading stone companies that went into Administration on 18 May, were continuing as this issue of Natural Stone Specialist went to press. Any developments before the next issue of the magazine is published will be reported on the magazine’s website at www.stonespecialist.com.
On 21 June, Iain Kennedy, the Managing Director of Realstone, said: “We are progressing with interested parties and hope to have a resolution in the next few days.”
Blockstone, Realstone’s sister company that extracts stone from eight quarries in the UK, is not in Administration and continues to trade as normal.
Tina Bailey of Block Stone says block will continue to be available to customers as normal. “The more support we get the better. I would like to rail the industry into supporting its block suppliers,” she told NSS.
Realstone’s Joint Administrators, Keith Marshall and Gareth Harris of RSM Restructuring Advisory, say they were appointed following a period of sustained trading losses and sales underperformance at Realstone that meant the business was no longer viable.
The Realstone Ltd annual report for 2014, the latest, shows pre-tax losses of £433,000 on a turnover of £3.3million.
The Administrators say the business and assets of Realstone were marketed prior to the appointment of Administrators and it had been hoped a deal saving all 35 jobs would have completed by 4 June.
Keith Marshall, RSM Restructuring Partner and one of the joint Administrators, said when discussions faltered: “It is disappointing that after two weeks of trading the business in Administration in order to preserve the opportunity [to sell the business] as a going concern, that the front running purchaser was unable to complete the transaction as intended.”
Although talks continued with potential buyers, the Administrators said they were assessing their options.
The following week 10 of the 35 people employed by Realstone were made redundant.
The Administrators said if agreement could not be reached with a buyer they would have to look at alternatives in terms of closing the business or performing limited conversion of raw materials to finished goods to maximise realisations for creditors.
Realstone was taken over in a management buy-out in which Managing Director Iain Kennedy was involved in 2010. It celebrated its 60th anniversary last year. Its headquarters and significant processing capability are based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, with sites in Glasgow and Penrith, Cumbria.