Moulton deal rescues Everest windows from administration but 188 staff face the chop
Double glazing firm Everest has been rescued from administration through a controversial ‘pre-pack’ deal – but 188 jobs will still be axed.
The window fitter became unable to pay its bills after having to down tools in the lockdown. Jon Moulton, the boss of Everest’s private equity owner Better Capital, said it was a ‘victim of the coronavirus’.
Better Capital put Everest into administration to offload the debt but immediately bought its operations and order book through a new company called Everest 2020.
Virus victim: Double glazing firm Everest became unable to pay its bills after having to down tools in the lockdown
The chaos surrounding the administration became evident this week, as Better Capital said an initial announcement revealing the deal last Friday had been made ‘in error’.
Customers and employees were left worrying about the future of the firm before yesterday’s filing confirmed the administration and rescue would go ahead.
FRP, which acted as administrator, said the deal would save 413 full-time jobs at Everest and allow it to keep on a further 600 self-employed contractors.
But the company’s value has sunk. Better Capital has spent just £3.2million on creating the new Everest 2020 business, much less than the £15million Everest was valued at last September.
Moulton said: ‘It had a really good start to the year. Then lockdown, and suddenly it has no cash flow because people aren’t installing any windows.
‘We didn’t qualify for any of the significant Government lending schemes, so Everest very rapidly moved into a position where it couldn’t meet any liabilities.’
Moulton is hopeful that business will recover, and Everest’s value may pick up.
The administration will be yet another disappointment for investors who ploughed money into Better Capital’s 2012 fund.
Last month Spicers-OfficeTteam Group, the penultimate firm left in the fund, fell into administration. Better Capital said its £120million-plus investment was ‘likely to be worthless’.