JA Magson in administration

Insolvency practitioners have been called in from Leonard Curtis after JA
Magson Limited filed for administration, leading to the majority of the 200
staff being made redundant.

The stationery and toy distributor established in 1929 is now in the hands of
Neil Bennett and Michael Healy of Leonard Curtis.

‘The business has spent heavily, streamlining systems and reducing the staff
levels by almost half. Unfortunately the timing has not been good – hence our
appointment as a protective measure. We have had to make the majority of the
employees redundant; we have retained a small number to assist in the
administration,’ said Bennett.

Founded as a local wholesaler of toys, stationery and greetings cards, the
business was incorporated in 1959 and, throughout the late 1980s grew from a
regional to a national business, with additional distribution centres in
Glasgow, Ipswich, Banbury and Hailsham.

In late 2007 the business was acquired from the Magson family and the
purchasers have made major efforts to modernise the business. Turnover for the
10 months to October 2008 was £20.2m.

The company had recently undergone a substantial transformation in efforts to
sell the company but the effects of the current credit crunch meant it was
unable to find a purchaser.

‘The current financial climate, with reduced consumer spending on the high
street, combined with poor weather over this last summer badly affecting toy
sales, has not helped this business,’ added Bennett.

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