Pittards of Yeovil to delist

On Monday (4 September) administrators, Lucy Winterborne and Daniel Hurd, from Ernst & Young were finally appointed to Pittards plc. The Yeovil leather goods company had been struggling financially for some time. When the administrators were appointed they claimed they were at an advanced stage in negotiations to sell the Company. Including its Ethiopian subsidiaries.

At the time they suggested the transaction would be completed no later than 6 September 2023.

That date has no come and gone and there is no news of a transaction. Staff were sent home at midday on Tuesday 5 September. The company website no longer functions and the company announced on Tuesday that it had ceased to trade.

The company has also accepted the resignation of its nominated advisor and that there is no intention to replace them. This is a technicality, but means that Pittards will be delisted from the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. This is where the companies shares were traded until Monday.

The administrators warned that if the transaction could not be concluded they would assess all available options to realise value for the company’s creditors.

The future of the 135 workers in Yeovil and the 900 in Ethiopia remains unclear. Until the administrators issue a statement the future of the business will remain in doubt.

In a statement to The Leveller, Adam Dance, the LibDem PPC* said: “I am very sorry to hear that Pittards, one of Yeovil’s most prestigious manufacturing companies has fallen into administration. I am sure they tried their utmost to maintain the future of the company. Their rescue efforts were, of course, affected by a declining economy defined by an energy crisis.

These are very difficult times for industries who are fighting a very high level of business rates, rising inflation and a general downturn in the economy. Only a year ago Liz Truss’ government pushed borrowing rates through the roof. The results of these policies are now seen in the demise of industries like Pittards.

A reduction in VAT from 20% to 17.5% would result in a 1% reduction in inflation within one month and yet this government fails to act.

However, my priority now is to help to safeguard the future of Pittards 135 employees.

Somerset Council are even now talking to the Administrators offering help to the employees who suddenly find themselves without a job. Working with our partners, DWP and the Job Centre Plus we can offer help to those in need. Access to training opportunities, providing opportunities for start-up businesses, sign-posting vacancies within the Council are just some of the ways we can help.

If none of these are relevant then we will, of course, provide access to welfare support.

Somerset Council will be doing all it can to mitigate the effects of Pittards sad closure.”

*Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

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