The Daily Mail Online reported yesterday evening (19th May) that double glazing giant Everest is feared to be on the brink of collapse tonight with 2,500 jobs and contracts worth more than £100m at risk.
The windows firm has been forced to suspend all operations during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving it on the verge of administration.
Lockdown easing is unlikely to come to the ailing company’s rescue, with one source revealing that Everest ‘was in trouble before Covid, but this has been a tipping point’.
Efforts are believed to be underway to offload contracts worth £102m with potential buyers locked in talks, sources said.
The firm’s 2,500 employees hang in the balance, as well as appointments already booked by customers.
It is not clear if a buyer has been found, but an announcement is expected in the coming days.
Everest has downed tools during the coronavirus crisis, cancelling all scheduled fittings.
Everest’s customer services operation also remains virtually shuttered, and the firm did not respond to MailOnline’s request for comment tonight.
Customers who have already bought services have been left in the lurch, with social distancing rules scuppering planned work.
A May 14 statement on the mothballed company’s website says it is hoping to begin manufacturing again ‘very soon’.
It says: ‘Unfortunately our manufacturing, installation and customer service functions all remain closed with the aim of keeping our staff and customers safe.
‘Following the Government statement that allows manufacturing companies to begin working, we are currently planning to restart operations very soon.’
But it added: ‘Sadly as our work involves visiting customers’ homes and many of our staff work in teams we are currently having to delay this restart until we can take all possible measure to protect our staff and customers.’
The Hertfordshire-based business was an early pioneer of double glazing and in 2012 was bought by private equity firm Better Capital, which MailOnline also attempted to contact.
In late March, when lockdown was taking a toll on Everest’s business, Better Capital said in a statement the ‘future is unclear’.
‘Given the uncertainty of the length of the period of closure, together with the fact that the extent of the availability of public financial support is not known, the future is unclear. However, particularly without adequate support, the value of the company will be diminished,’ it said according to CityWire.
Lockdown has been particularly punishing for manufacturing industries, with many forced to halt operations due to social distancing rules.
Everest are still offering consultations, though these are being carried out remotely.
All survey and installation work has been stopped and customers who had an appointment are being contacted, the company says.
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