Stag sale fails to save 700 jobs

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The Independent Online

The administrators of Stag Furniture, the former Spring Ram subsidiary which collapsed earlier this month, have sold its main brand names to Cornwell Parker, the parent company of armchair- maker Parker Knoll.

The administrators of Stag Furniture, the former Spring Ram subsidiary which collapsed earlier this month, have sold its main brand names to Cornwell Parker, the parent company of armchair- maker Parker Knoll.

The brands involved are Stag Minstrel, Stag Upholstery, Aspect and Sandringham. Unfortunately, the deal did not save the group's manufacturing plants in Scunthorpe and Bradford, and 275 employees have been made redundant.

The redundancies mean that nearly 700 people will have lost their jobs as a result of Stag's disastrous decision to move the bulk of its manufacturing from two factories in Nottingham to one hi-tech site in Scunthorpe. Most of the 400 staff employed at Nottingham took redundancy, though it is understood that few have seen any redundancy payments and up to £1.1m may still be owed.

Allan Graham, corporate receiver partner at KPMG, the administrators of Stag, said that the redundancies were necessary "as we cannot economically continue trading in the medium to long term".

A skeleton workforce has been kept on in Scunthorpe and Bradford to finish off existing work and wind down the operations, but there now seems little chance that either factory can be saved.

Cornwell Parker is also buying the intellectual property of Stag, which includes marketing literature and client lists. However, it was not interested in taking on the factories.

Cornwell Parker's chief executive, Andrew Stafford, said: "The purchase brings together two of strongest upholstery and cabinet furniture brands in the UK."

Stag was bought out of Spring Ram, the troubled bathroom and kitchen-maker, in May 1999, for just £4.5m. Spring Ram was itself later taken over by US Industries, famous for its Jacuzzi baths.

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