Customers at risk as Fagor faces liquidation
Jim Armitage is the City editor of The Independent and London Evening Standard group of newspapers. He has been a reporter and editor for more than 20 years and was recently shortlisted for the Press Gazette financial journalist of the year and The Society of Editors financial journalist of the year awards. He contributes news, investigative reports and comment to the Independent titles plus a daily column in the Evening Standard.
Monday 04 August 2014
Tens of thousands of people with Fagor built-in cookers, fridges and other kitchen appliances are likely to see their warranties cancelled as the brand’s UK distributer faced liquidation on Monday night.
De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances, based in Basingstoke, marketed the Fagor and more upmarket De Dietrich brands and handled their warranties. But the French parent company went into administration and a buyer found for the UK operations only wants to take on the De Dietrich division.
That means people with faulty Fagor equipment will have to arrange their own repairs and apply for reimbursement from the liquidator, James Cowper. They would join a queue of creditors such as the French parent company and suppliers, and so should only expect partial repayment.
The outlook for De Dietrich customers appears better, as the likely buyer of the UK arm is expected to set up a new warranty scheme.
The company attempted to find an insurance firm willing to offer warranties to Fagor customers but failed.
De Dietrich’s problems stem from late last year when its French immediate parent, and ultimate parent in Spain – called Mondragon – went into administration. The French parent company was sold to an Algerian family-owned business called Cevital which decided not to buy the UK arm. A separate deal for a buyer of the De Dietrich part of the UK operation is expected shortly.
Most of the staff of the UK business, thought to number less than 20, were made redundant in the spring.
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