Jobs saved after buyer steps in for Norville Group
Jobs at the world-famous Norville Group in Gloucester have been saved after the business was saved from administration in a last-minute deal.
Bath-based Inspecs has bought the Barton business’s lens manufacturing operations from its administrator BDO in a deal said to be worth £2.4m.
According to reports the deal is said to include the £1.2 million freehold property, just a stone’s throw from the city centre with the business stating it intended to retain part of the firm’s management team and staff.
Only last week The Raikes Journal broke the story of how despite Norville Opticians being saved by Hakim Group, Norville's other operatiosn were in the hands of administrars BDO with the porential loss of more than 120 Gloucestershire jobs and more at its other sites.
"This is amazing news for all concerned, and for the optical industry,” said Sharon Edwards, a senior account manager for The Norville Group for 28 years, one of those campaigning to save the company.
"I know the directors worked endlessly to make this happen and save the company. Well done to all and especially thsoe staff that stayed on to help customers under testing circumstances. Well done all."
Robin Totterman, the chief executive officer of Inspecs, said he was “delighted" to announce the company's "first acquisition as a plc”.
"There is no doubt that Norville is an excellent fit for the group. With Savile Row (Algha) and Norville, we have combined the two oldest and most respected British optical brands – frame maker with lens maker. With Inspecs' global frame manufacturing, marketing and sale capabilities, we are continuing to grow our vertically integrated business model.
“We are also taking this opportunity to integrate our two UK manufacturing sites, and soon we will offer a bespoke Savile Row lens collection to accompany the frames. Our plan is to similarly offer our many licenced brands with high quality bespoke lens packages.
“The acquisition cements Inspecs’ position as the only vertically integrated designer, manufacturer and distributor of eyewear frames and lenses in the UK and provides the group with a full lens offering domestically and globally.
“We look forward to welcoming the Norville team into the heart of the Inspecs group and working together to create a truly cutting-edge integrated eyewear business.”
Norville had a turnover last year just shy of £12 million and the netbook of assets acquired as part of the deal, including the property, is said to be £4.9 million.
First published July 14.