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An MBO rescues Sussex & Berks

Agency company Sussex & Berkshire Machinery and equipment builder Stickpack Europe live to fight another day after coming out of administration on 30 September.

“I would probably not be talking to you today if it hadn’t been for three guys 20 years younger than myself asking me to be part of the MBO team,” says managing director Derek Moore.

“I understand that the administrator had more than one other offer for Stickpack and one company was after S & B, but he considered our offer presented the best opportunity for the creditors of the old company.” Contracts were exchanged on 26 September and the sale will be completed shortly.

Design manager of the old company Gary Caswell, now technical director of S&B, sales director Russell Gardner, technical director Stickpack Europe Mark Blackman, and managing director Derek Moore raised the money privately and put their offer to the administrator Begbies Traynor.

“We have bought the assets, stock, work in progress, names and intellectual property and plan to operate the two companies separately but with the same directors,” he adds.

Plans include representing “those German, Italian and Spanish principals that want to work with us and have remained loyal, despite some of them being creditors,” he said. It is understood that MAF, Mohrbach, Oli, Enflex, Mondo & Scaglione, Iman Pack, Etipack and Riva of Argentina are among companies remaining with the agency.

“But we have reduced the representation portfolio – we did get too big,” admits Mr Moore. We will continue to design and build our own bespoke labelling systems. Stickpack will continue to build and sell machines.

The old factory has been put up for sale. Creditors stand to gain by trading success generated by the new companies.

It is understood that one of Derek Moore’s largest creditors is his own pension trust. The two companies are trading from and building Stickpack machines from a modern factory owned by that trust.