Axminster Carpets saved as investors bring business out of administration

Axminster Carpets has been bought out of administration by a group of investors – which includes former owners.

A consortium of investors, including the family which restarted the historic business in 1937, has salvaged the Royal Warrant holder and now intends to reboot production.

The company went into administration on February 19 with the loss of 80 jobs.

However, it was announced today (Thursday, March 5) that it has been bought by ACL Carpets – which will change its name to Axminster Carpets in the near future, said administrators.

The business had built up debts of nearly £8million, but is now debt-free, said Axminster Carpets.

Among the group of investors is  the Dutfield family, which controlled the company until 2016.

Axminster Carpets will continue to operate from its head office and manufacturing facility in the town.

Robert Day, who led the private investors, said: “The business has never been in a better position to again become a significant player in the sector.”

Joint administrator Benjamin Wiles, of Duff & Phelps, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to announce today that we have secured the future of Axminster Carpets, one of the best-known British brands, following the successful sale of the business and assets of the company.”

Axminster Carpets was founded in 1755, specialises in the manufacture of woven carpets using traditional techniques and natural materials. It has supplied carpets to Buckingham Palace.

The origins of the luxury carpet maker can be traced back to Thomas Whitty, who began making carpets and rugs in the town using what became known as the Axminster method of weaving.

The first carpets were bought by the likes of King George III and Queen Charlotte, who visited the factory.

The family firm went out of business in the 1830s, but the tradition was revived in the town in 1937, when Harry Dutfield, the son of a Glasgow carpet designer, founded the current company.

The joint administrators sold the company’s underlay division, Axfelt, to Ulster Carpets on their appointment.

Ulster Carpets said last month it would continue to work with existing Axfelt employees at the current site.

David Acheson, Ulster Carpets spokesman, said: “We are delighted to be playing a part in the immediate retention of one part of the facility at the Axminster Carpets site.

“Working with the current employees, Ulster is committed to growing and developing this highly-successful product in Devon.”

Queen’s carpet maker Axminster Carpets goes into administration

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