Corby-based furniture business Kettle Interiors has been placed into administration following financial struggles stemming from rising shipping costs and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Kettle Home Ltd has acquired the assets with Ian Kettle and Stuart Caddy leading the purchase.
Gary Shankland and Ken Pattullo, both of Begbies Traynor, were appointed as joint administrators of Kettle Interiors UK Ltd on 24 March 2023.
The three decades-established, family-run business sold furniture under a number of brands, including Mambo and Mint, to UK and European retailers but had begun to struggle financially due to escalating shipping costs since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. The company employed 126 people at its Macadam Road trading address in Corby, all of whom have been made redundant.
Begbies Traynor partner Thomas McKay said: “Due to the economic challenges facing the furniture sector, particularly the significant increase in freight costs since Covid in the last two or three years, Kettle Interiors has reluctantly been placed into administration. All staff have unfortunately had to be made redundant for reasons of insolvency and we are currently working with PACE and local government departments to ensure all staff receive support and their full entitlements at this difficult time.”
Following the administration, Ian Kettle, Stuart Caddy (directors of Kettle Interiors UK Ltd) and Joseph Pignatiello, have acquired the assets under Kettle Home Ltd, all of whom are listed as directors of the new company that was incorporated in October 2022.
In a letter to customers, Kettle Home said that all efforts to avoid administration were “exhausted in recent months” and that it wasn’t “taken lightly”. Under the new company, which has acquired the stock, order book, IP and other assets, it will honour all outstanding orders and continue to operate without interruption. Furthermore, all orders placed from 24 March will be processed by Kettle Home, while adding that the business will also honour valid 12-month warranty claims against products purchased from Kettle Interiors UK Ltd.
Gary Shankland and Ken Pattullo, both of Begbies Traynor, added this further statement: “Following our appointment as administrators of Kettle Interiors UK Ltd (‘Kettle’), and due to the various challenges and creditor pressures Kettle faced in the lead up to the date of insolvency, an open marketing sale process was instructed by the administrators, through our selling agents, who advertised the disposal of the goodwill and intellectual property rights of Kettle in the public domain. This marketing sale process generated significant interest within the furniture sector locally and abroad and many interested parties contacted our selling agents during the diligence and sales window. Within this sales process a number of offers for the goodwill and intellectual property rights of the Kettle business were received by our agents.
“At the closing date of the marketing process, at 5pm yesterday, our selling agents advised that one offer was materially higher than the other offers received for the goodwill and IPR of the business. This offer was from an associated company called Kettle Home Ltd. As a result, our agents gave this bid the preferred bidder status, subject to diligence and funding, and recommended its acceptance. Following consultation and recommendations from our agent to accept the preferred bid, the administrators began a consultation process with the company’s lender, which holds security over the assets subject to the offer, for their subsequent review and approval of the preferred bid received.
“The administrators write to confirm that following an open market sales campaign, the offer from the preferred bidder, Kettle Home Ltd, was today accepted for the acquisition of the goodwill of the Kettle branding and associated IPR, subject to contact, contrary to previous articles that may have been released. Subsequent sale deadlines have also been put in place by our agents, as the administrators seek to dispose of the vehicles, chattel assets and remaining stock in an open marketing tender sale. Interested parties should contact the administrators’ agents by email at: email@example.com.”
Extracts from the letter from Ian Kettle, CEO of Kettle Home Ltd:
We are writing to inform you of some important changes affecting the Kettle Group. After a recent review of all aspects of the group’s trading operations it is clear that in order to continue and improve the service levels we offer to our valued customer base, our UK operation was in need of restructuring. As such, after careful consideration, the directors made the very difficult decision to place Kettle Interiors UK Ltd into voluntary administration on Friday 24th of March under the management of Begbies Traynor Group. The decision to do this has not been taken lightly and the Directors would like to emphasise that all other efforts to avoid this decision have been exhausted in recent months.
I am now able to confirm that Kettle Home Ltd has successfully negotiated the purchase of all stock holdings, outstanding order book, operating assets, intellectual property rights, including the name, product design and digital assets. Importantly, Kettle Home Ltd will continue to operate from 9am on Wednesday 29th March without major interruption to the services and products we provide to our loyal customers. All outstanding orders will be honoured and serviced by Kettle Home Ltd. All email addresses, telephone numbers and customer access to our website www.kettleinteriorsagencies.com will remain the same. We welcome your communication and remain committed to our customers and the industry during the process of restructuring and look forward to continue serving you.
Orders and payments
• Any new orders placed by email or our website from Friday the 24th of March 2023 will be processed by Kettle Home Ltd and from Wednesday 29th of March, payments for all new orders must be made to Kettle Home Ltd.
• For any outstanding orders placed prior to Friday the 24th of March and paid for on a pro- forma basis, Kettle Home Ltd will honour the despatch of such orders.
• Please note that any outstanding invoices you had with Kettle Interiors UK Ltd will now be managed by Begbies Trayner Group and should continue to be paid as they become due. For invoices in the name of Kettle Interiors UK Ltd, please remit funds to the same bank account you were using found on the bottom of your invoice.
• Kettle Home Ltd will honour valid claims that fall under the 12-month warranty period held against products purchased from Kettle Interiors UK Ltd. All conditions applicable to the warranty remain the same, details of which can be found on our website. All claims should be sent as normal to firstname.lastname@example.org
The team at Kettle Home Ltd look forward to continuing and improving the services, products and relationships that have been built over many years and we thank you for your continued support and custom. Please note as of 29th March, our offices and all departments are open and operational.