Belfast Telegraph

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Homeware firm collapse leaves 557 redundant

By Peter Cripps and Amanda Poole

Published 07/07/2011

The Homeform Group went into administration yesterday making 557 staff redundant.

The Manchester-based homeware retailer, which also owns Dolphin Bathrooms, Kitchens Direct and Moben Kitchens, comprises more than 160 showrooms and concessions spread across the UK.

Moben's two showrooms in Belfast, at Boucher Crescent and Holywood Exchange Park, were closed last month when the administrators, Deloitte, were called in.

Its assistance was required after the company suffered "significant difficulties" caused by the economic downturn.

Some 627 jobs have been saved after the Sharps Bedrooms business was sold immediately after Homeform went into administration in a "pre-pack" deal.

It was bought by a division of private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, which also owns Homeform.

It also bought 96 of the company's 160 showrooms and concessions and a factory at Bilston in the West Midlands.

The Moben, Dolphin and Kitchens Direct businesses have now been closed although the administrators still hope to sell the brands.

The sale will ensure 1,359 customers who paid deposits worth £1.5m to Sharps Bedrooms will have their orders honoured.

But 453 customers who paid deposits worth a total of £1.5m to Moben, Dolphin and Kitchens Direct without a finance agreement or not using credit or debit cards are "unlikely to receive any refund".

A further 921 customers should be able to get refunds worth £2.6m from their credit or debit card provider.

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