Round-up | NEWS End of the road for Neue Alno

GERMAN KITCHEN maker Neue Alno has failed to find an investor and the management has announced that the company has ended operations with the loss of 230 jobs at its Pfullendorf plant.

The management has said that a transfer company may be set up to help employees find new jobs. The restructuring in administration planned to commence on September 1 did not go ahead because of the lack of a suitable investor and the management came to the conclusion that the business operations of Neue Alno GmbH and BBT Bodensee Nahrungsmittel would have to be closed at the end of September. In a statement, joint managing directors Michael Spadinger and Jochen Braun said: “Despite a broad approach to potential investors, unfortunately no investor could be found who would continue the operational business of the companies. Due to the economic situation, business operations cannot be continued on their own.”

Kbbreview spoke to some retailers who will be affected by the closure, and the general feeling was one of sadness at losing a good brand. Saf Ahmed, director of Inova Kitchens in Luton, told kbbreview: “It is sad. I didn’t trade with them much and

Engineered Stone Group acquires Fiora from HIG Capital

SPANISH SHOWER trays and bathroom products specialist Fiora has been acquired by The Engineered Stone Group. Private equity and asset management firm HIG Capital has announced that it has sold Fiora to The Engineered Stone Group for an undisclosed sum.

The Group was set up by The Cranemere Group to develop a presence in the bathroom products category and is consists of Marmite, Acquabella, F+D Group, Mcbath, Nuovvo and now Fiora.

HIG acquired a majority stake in Fiora in 2018 and claims to have achieved significant milestones since then. These include strengthening the company’s innovation, design and product development; expanding into new markets in Europe and North

October 2021 ·

America; entering new product segments, such as bathroom furniture; expanding its agent network and its direct access to over 2,000 inde pen- dent retailers and investing in logistics. HIG says that it has also increased the volume of shower trays sold by Fiora by more than 40%.

Commenting on the development, Fiora chief executive Fernando Soriano said: “We would like to thank HIG for their close and trusting support and their strategic guidance over the last four years. Together, we have

strengthened Fiora’s position as a leading shower tray manufacturer in Europe. HIG has been a true partner, significantly supporting us in profes- sionalising the company and pursuing an ambitious growth strategy.” HIG Spain managing director Jaime Bergel added: “We are delighted to have supported Fiora in its trans- formation and growth path.

“It is perfectly positioned for further growth on a global scale and we wish the manage ment team continued success in the future.”

I knew they had difficulties last year after Covid implementing their new infrastructure. I think their vision was brilliant in terms of what they were planning and, had it all gone smoothly, I think they would have been very successful.

“They inherited problems and they were ironing them out and it was challenging for them because everything happened at the same time – the supply chain, software, personnel, training. Even the strongest companies have issues, but this was just very bad timing.”

In terms of how it might affect his customers going forward, Ahmed added: “We have no outstanding

orders in the pipeline, but with the Neue Alno kitchen we did do recently there may be warranty issues. But we very rarely have issues with kitchens after they have been installed anyway, so I am not too worried about that. But I feel sorry for retailers who may have clients asking for their money back, the disruption and the loss of business – and having to rearrange people’s projects is challenging.”

At Kitchen Partners in Bristol, designer Vicki Elmore was also sad to see Alno go. She said: “We are sad that it has gone. It was a good product and when it resurfaced as Neue Alno, we did try to get behind it, but I think fairly quickly we found there were still

errors with deliveries, items missing, which for us was a familiar pattern. “We were going to put a new display in the showroom but held off until they had got themselves together and in that time it became more and more obvious that that wasn’t going to happen. We had to stop selling it towards the end of last year over our other suppliers, unless it was a particular door colour no one else could do. So we have no future orders, but it will impact those people who need remedial items. “We will deal with it as best we can and move on. We got over it last time, so we will manage the situation this time as well as we can.”

Bathroom supplier Cassellie in administration with the loss of 35 jobs

CASSELLIE, THE Leeds-based bathroom supplier, has gone into adminis tration with the loss of 35 jobs.

Supply chain issues and interrupted trading during the pan demic were given as the main contributing factors. The company has been looking to secure a buyer for the business but was not successful. Clare Boardman and Adrian Berry, senior managing directors at Teneo Restructuring, have been appointed as joint administrators. Boardman said: “This is a very challenging period for all stakeholders. Despite the best efforts of the directors, the company has been unable to sustain its operations. We therefore had no option other than to regrettably make 35 redundancies.” The company will continue to trade in administration for a short period of time as part of a managed wind-down.


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