Fagor’s UK branch was faced with creditors’ voluntary liquidation on Monday, causing its entire UK clientele, thought to be numbering around 100,000 strong, to have their warrantees revoked on their purchased kitchen appliances.
The Spanish-owned, domestic appliance manufacturer was marketed, along with De Dietrich, by the De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances distributor. The De Dietrich name is steeped in history, with ties to France stretching back to the 17th century. Having been influential players in the industrialisation of France centuries ago, the name of De Dietrich is renowned as a manufacturing giant throughout Western Europe.
So, when the parent company of both brand names, FagorBrandt, entered into company administration, and De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances was placed into creditors’ voluntary liquidation, it was believed by the franchises company directors that finding a suitable buyer to take on the businesses would be achieved without much work at all.
However, when an interested party was eventually found to purchase the company, they were solely concerned about acquiring the De Dietrich brand, due to its superior promotional and marketable value, leaving Fagor in the lurch.
This is particularly disquieting for consumers who’ve recently purchased Fagor merchandise, as those with any defective equipment will have to seek recompense from the liquidator, James Cowper LLP. All warrantees for Fagor products have been discontinued and as such, liasing with the liquidator is the only way of ensuring the return of any money. Any product patch-ups will have to be conducted by the consumer. The likelihood of being fully reimbursed appears relatively slim as the number of creditors already lined up to receive compensation is considerable; including the parent company, Fagorbrandt, and numerous suppliers.
Peter Whalley of James Cowper said: “Although the announcement about a commercial partner is awaited, we expect that warranties given to customers with De Dietrich appliances will continue. Unfortunately, the warranties on Fagor appliances cannot be honoured in full and those affected by this will need to make claims in the liquidation in due course. We will be publishing further guidance in relation to both De Dietrich and Fagor warranty claimants next week.”
The sole shareholder in Fagorbrandt , Mondragon, entered into administration marking the beginning of De Dietrich’s winding up. Mondragon was swiftly peddled to a company named Cevital, run by an Algerian family, which opted to not purchase the UK branch. As such, it is anticipated that an alternate buyer for the UK sector of De Dietrich will be named in the near future.
The majority of the staff of the UK branch of De Dietrich, numbering under 20, were made redundant earlier this year. This is despite financial documents describing its performance in 2012 indicating that the business was running smoothly, with a disclosed turnover of £8.5 million in the 12 months to 31st December 2012.
However, the prospects of existing De Dietrich customers appears more positive, with the prospective buyer expected to set up a new warranty scheme for their purchased goods on completion of its acquisition.