Fuzzwire enters administration
Published: 20 December, 2013
Christmas specialist assigns current contracts to MK Illumination
Andrew Sheridan and Phil Pierce, partners of restructuring and advisory firm FRP Advisory, were appointed joint administrators to Fuzzwire on 20 December 2013.
Fuzzwire was one of the UK’s market leading design, manufacture and installers of Christmas scheme decoration displays at around 150 major UK shopping centres, including Canary Wharf and Westfield London, Bluewater in Kent, Lakeside in Essex, Metrocentre in Gateshead, Arndale in Manchester, thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes, Liverpool One and Cribbs Causeway in Bristol.
Fuzzwire is headquartered in Keighley, West Yorkshire with another main storage depot at Leeds Bradford airport. The administrators said Fuzzwire had suffered over the past few weeks from a sharp deterioration in its financial position which put unsustainable pressure on its cash flow. Despite efforts to attract external investment or to sell the business as a going concern, no buyer emerged, resulting in the company’s former management being forced to lay off all staff during December.
Prior to entering into administration Fuzzwire employed a total of 65 full-time employees. Additionally 44 part-time workers and 78 self-employed subcontractors worked on the installation and dismantling of the displays.
All of Fuzzwire’s contracts around the UK have been assigned to MK Illumination, part of a large and highly experienced Austrian-owned group with operations across Europe servicing over 400 of the largest shopping centres.
Andrew Sheridan, partner at FRP Advisory, said: “The assignment of Fuzzwire’s contracts should ensure the safeguarding and sound management of the Christmas decoration schemes that are in place, and ensure there is a smooth operational framework to facilitate their seamless removal to timetable by MK Illumination in the New Year, critical for the shopping centre customers. It should also ensure that there is a continuing relationship for reinstallation of decoration schemes at a range of shopping malls at future seasonal periods in 2014 and beyond.
"It goes without saying that we have huge sympathy for the former employees who have not been paid in December, particularly as we are in the run up to Christmas. As joint administrators we have a duty to all creditors and our immediate focus will be to assist the former employees in processing their claims which will in turn be submitted to the Redundancy Payments Service, although we recognise it will probably take approximately six to eight weeks before they receive any of their entitlements from the RPS."