Allyson Thomas and Dave O’Connor set up new company trading as Durant.
Allyson Thomas and Dave O’Connor are setting up in business again after buying some assets of T A Durant, the diamond jewellery manufacturer that went into administration after more than 40 years in business.
The pair have purchased a shelf company called Alpharidge and employed five of the 25 staff that were made redundant when T A Durant went into administration in April. Thomas and O’Connor bought some of the “important assets” of T A Durant in a management buy-out and will trade as Durant.
In a letter to customers shown to Professional Jeweller, Thomas and O’Connor said: “We hope that we will be able to supply the same products to the majority of our former customers. So far, the support from the trade and the response from all customers has been extremely positive.
“We are obviously very sad about the loss of jobs and anyone else we may have upset in the process. Whilst we sorted ourselves out there have been unavoidable delays in getting specials and repairs out to you but please keep sending your orders and repairs; normal service is almost resumed.”
In addition to the five staff taken on, Alpharidge said that it is in discussions with a further two potential staff members. The confirmed members of staff at the new business are Thomas and O’Connor plus sales manager John Bromley and administrative staff Kate Ryan and Cathy Kendall.
T A Durant’s premises in Bidford on Avon will be sold by the administrators, Senate Recovery of Warwick, but Alpharidge has been granted permission by the administrators to remain on site for two months. Thomas and O’Connor said that this period could be extended but said that they will take on premises in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter “in due course” where they hope to expand slowly as the economy recovers.
T A Durant filed for administration on March 26 and the process was completed on April 1. All of the company’s 25 staff were made redundant on March 23 but some remained on at the business unpaid to provide a limited service to customers and assist the administrators.
Peter Odell from Senate Recovery of Warwick is handling the T A Durant administration.