Richardson Sheffield has been bought out of administration by Amefa UK for an undisclosed sum.
The deal by the British subsidiary of the Dutch-based, privately-owned multinational was completed on Thursday and will see the two companies merge under the Amefa UK umbrella.
Amefa UK managing director Martin Russell described the Richardson portfolio of products as “an excellent fit with our existing business”.
He told HousewaresLive.net: “The two businesses have the same sort of philosophy in terms of the marketplace, and Richardsons tend to specialise more in knives and have more of a branded knife collection, while Amefa specialise more in cutlery and have a lot of private-label knives. You bring it together and it starts to make Amefa a branded house. We see brands as the way forward,” he added.
He said there would also be benefits in terms of customer base: “Where Richardsons traded we didn’t and where Amefa trade Richardsons didn’t.”
Russell said there would be no change to products in the short term. “But what we will do is invest more into the Richardson brand because they have had a money squeeze on them.”
And he stressed: “We do intend to keep the Richardson brand alive. We will not be turning it into Amefa, and we will be keeping the Sabatier brand alive. And we’ll keep alive the Richardson heritage. We plan to consult fully with our customers to understand how the newly-enlarged group can help develop their business.”
Supply of Richardson Sheffield products has been disrupted since the company went into administration on September 14, but Russell promised: “As of Friday it’s business as usual. We’d except to see service returning to smooth running within a month or two.”
He confirmed that there had been some earlier redundancies at Richardson. “But we’re still trading out of the Amefa and Richardson premises in Sheffield so we’ve taken on all the staff who’ve remained,” he said.
He added that the purchase of the company would be “the first step in our acquisition programme”.