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Mark Two placed into administration

Kitchen and bathroom distributor Mark Two has been placed into administration, its boss David Cullen has confirmed.

The Bolton-based business entered administration at 4pm on Wednesday (26 November), with Duff and Phelps brought in to handle matters.

The move into administration appears to be a direct result of Tesco dropping its contract with Mark Two, after it decided to shut down its own kitchens and bathrooms business.

With the business in administration, Mark Two’s 200 unpaid, newly redundant staff can now see about claiming statutory redundancy pay, said Mr Cullen, chief executive of Mark Two’s parent Ultra Finishing.

Most of Mark Two’s activity was for Tesco, but is still carrying out kitchen and bathroom orders for its other household name clients Debenhams and Laura Ashley.

Over 140 Mark Two Home Limited staff had been given a letter earlier this month to inform them they had lost their jobs and may not get paid for November. Other employees discovered their fate through social media, or were told over the phone.

A spokesman for Mark Two said Tesco had informed it of its plans to back away from the kitchens and bathrooms market a year ago, and that they had been unable to engage Tesco in discussions about a solution that would satisfy both parties.

Tesco said in a statement that it had decided to close down Tesco Kitchens and Tesco Bathrooms after it “identified concerns about Mark Two’s ability to deliver the service our customers expect”.

Source : Hanna Sharpe - Business Sale

28 November 2014

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