Mo Iqbal has confirmed his purchase of Coventry-based Capitol Tile Group, which went into liquidation last week.
Capitol Tile Group was formerly one of the UK’s largest tile distributors across London and the Midlands. However, after many years of successful trading, the business had recently run into financial difficulties and was finally put into liquidation last week, appointing Begbies Traynor to handle the case.
The group posted a turnover of just over £16.9million in FY 14/15 but started to see declines in turnover and profit, with its latest results the year ended April 2017 recording a drop in turnover to £13.7million, with a phenomenal decline of 708% in pre-tax profit to -£921,983.
Capitol Tile Supplies Ltd, trading as Capitol Tile Group, operates four distribution warehouses across the UK, in Coventry, Crawley, Edinburgh, Norwich, as well as 12 retail outlets; with showrooms trading under the Capitol Tile and Supatile names, in a number of locations including Cheltenham, Crawley, Edinburgh, Nuneaton and Oxford and Rugby. The group also operates a showroom trading as Capital Design Studio in Fulham, London. In its latest filed accounts, it was reported that the business employed 123 people.
Mr Iqbal confirmed that he has purchased the wholesale and distribution side of the business from the administrators, saving 70 jobs in those sectors. As part of the deal, he has taken on just the main distribution centre in Coventry, plus the trade counter on site. The Capitol Tile retail outlets have been purchased separately by a third party.
A tile industry veteran, Mr Iqbal, spent almost 14 years with Topps Tiles before taking on Tile Giant – retail a business he grew from two stores to a network of 32 by the time he sold it to Travis Perkins for £12million. He founded Tile Mountain, of which he is now chairman, in 2013 with former Topps directors Jeremy Harris and Nick Ounstead.
Speaking about his latest purchase, Mr Iqbal said: “I have known the Capitol Tile Group for many years having previously been one of its customers. I, like many others are saddened that it has fallen into administration. I am however delighted that in purchasing its wholesale and distribution divisions that I am able to secure the roles of seventy of its current staff, some of whom I have personally known since first setting out in the tile industry.”
Explaining the reason for taking just one of the distribution warehouses, Mr Iqbal told DIY Week: “One of the reasons the business failed is due to the extra cost of the three distribution centres and the fact that stock was too spread out… [We] intend to service all customers from Coventry and carry greater depth of stock.”
“The business will remain in Coventry, and the management team will be led by myself and [Tile Mountain managing director] Jeremy Harris as directors. We will apply our knowledge of the industry alongside the latest advancements in technology to improve the business’ offering, so that once again the Capitol Tile Group will be recognised as a leader in the b-to-b sector of the industry. I believe this acquisition will sit perfectly alongside Tile Mountain for whom I am Chairman, and that the synergy between the two businesses will be of benefit to both our consumer and trade customers.”
DIY Week has been unable to reach anyone at Begbies Traynor for comment over the purchase of Capitol Tiles' retail outlets.