Distributor Steljes has confirmed it has gone into administration after 29 years in the market. The company had been experiencing liquidity issues over the last twelve months.
Apparently shareholders had tried to prop the company up with an injection of cash but the situation was too severe to be reversed and so it was time to call in the administrators.
Steljes specialised in flat panel projectors and interactive whiteboards and like the rest of the hardware industry, Steljes had found the business becoming less profitable. Just a few short months ago the situation worsened when its largest supplier, interactive whiteboard player Smart, broke their exclusive distribution agreement and partnered with Weston.
Steljes director Martin Large commented on the situation, “We were negotiating for additional funding from the banks and our forecasts took account of the appointment of Weston but what happened after made it impossible to operate, we’d reached a point where the business was no longer viable.”
The majority of the staff (over 100) have been let go by the company with a small team remaining to see it through the administration process.
AlixPartners said the team are “currently investigating the potential to find a buyer for the business as a whole or in parts and welcome any expressions of interest”.
Steljes Rental has confirmed it is continuing to trade as an independent business to serve the events market primarily.
In the year ended 30 June, Steljes reported a turnover of £53.8m, down £761,508 on the prior year, and made an operating loss of £1.27m versus a profit of £989,843 the year before.
Richard Carter, Group Sales and Business Development Director at Nimans, says he’s sad to see Steljes cease trading. “It was a real surprise to hear the news after such a long period of trading but it was perhaps inevitable given their focus on such a narrow range of products. It’s a lesson to us all about the importance of diversifying and targeting new markets and technologies.”